The sports world is responding with strong condemnation to Russia’s attack on Ukraine, which erupted Wednesday with aerial strikes and troop invasions.
UEFA is reportedly moving the May 28 Champions League final out of St. Petersburg. Soccer’s governing body in Europe issued a statement saying it “strongly condemns the ongoing Russian military invasion in Ukraine.”
Several sports organizations and figures made similar rebukes.
- The International Olympic Committee stated it “strongly condemns the breach of the Olympic Truce by the Russian government.” The International Paralympic Committee echoed that sentiment.
- Second-division Bundesliga team Schalke is removing the name of Russia’s state-owned natural gas company Gazprom from its jerseys.
- Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is facing calls to be stripped of his ownership after leaked documents showed ties to illicit financial activity with Russia.
- Aston Martin Formula 1 driver Sebastian Vettel pledged he would not travel to Russia if F1 holds September’s Grand Prix there. Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen said that “when a country is at war, it is not right to race there.”
F1 has taken down a page on its website selling tickets for its race in Russia.
World Cup Implications
The soccer associations of Poland, Sweden, and the Czech Republic, which are all scheduled to play World Cup qualifying matches in Russia in March, stated they “do not consider traveling to Russia and playing football matches there,” in a joint statement.
The Ukraine Premier League has postponed its season for a minimum of 30 days.