Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine on Thursday drew heavy criticism from the football community and could have major ramifications. Russia launched the biggest attack on a European country since World War II with its attacks on Ukraine. This article will aim to cover how the Russia-Ukraine conflict will affect football. If you want a full recap of what happened in Ukraine, you can find that here.
News from the world of football on the Russian invasion
Poland, Sweden and Czech Republic call for World Cup qualifiers to be moved to Russia
The football associations of Poland, Sweden and the Czech Republic are scheduled to play World Cup qualifiers with Russia in March. Poland are supposed to play in Moscow in the first leg on March 24. If Russia were to win, the winner between Sweden and the Czech Republic would also have to play a game in Russia.
“The football associations of Poland (PZPN), Sweden (SvFF) and the Czech Republic (FACR) express their firm position that the matches of the qualifiers (…) should not be played on the territory of the Federation of Russia,” the three associations said in a statement. joint statement.
FIFA is monitoring the situation and issued a statement condemning Putin and Russia.
“FIFA condemns Russia’s use of force in Ukraine and any type of violence to resolve conflicts. Violence is never a solution and FIFA calls on all parties to restore peace through constructive dialogue.”
Brazilian players trapped in Ukraine
Ukrainian clubs Dynamo Kyiv and Shakhtar Donetsk have been hot spots for young Brazilian talent in recent years. Shakhtar have 13 Brazilian players on their roster alone while Kyiv have one.
Players and their families posted a video from a hotel pleading for help and to be saved from the fighting in Ukraine. The players asked the Brazilian authorities to get them out.
Jogadores brasileiros do Shakhtar e do Dínamo are reunidos com as famílias em um hotel de Kiev. Acabaram de gravar esse vídeo pedindo ajuda das autoridades brasileiras para deixar o país. pic.twitter.com/7ah1RuKGo2
“We are in a hotel. Pray for us.”
“We really feel abandoned because we don’t know what to do,” said one of the women. “We don’t know how to resolve this situation.”
UEFA Champions League final set to be moved outside of Russia
The 2022 Champions League final was originally scheduled to be played in Saint Petersburg. That looks set to change as sources claim UEFA will move the venue for the final. UEFA held an emergency meeting on Thursday after Russia invaded Ukraine.
Following developments in the situation between Russia and Ukraine, the UEFA President has called an extraordinary Executive Committee meeting at 10:00 CET on Friday 25 February to assess the situation and take all decisions. required.
New statement from UEFA saying it ‘strongly condemns the ongoing Russian military invasion of Ukraine’.
— Rob Harris (@RobHarris) February 24, 2022
“UEFA shares the great concern of the international community regarding the security situation developing in Europe and strongly condemns the ongoing Russian military invasion of Ukraine,” the organization said.
“We remain resolute in our solidarity with the football community in Ukraine and we are ready to reach out to the Ukrainian people.”
Schalke removes logo from Gazprom shirt
German club Schalke responded to Russia’s aggression by dropping main kit sponsor Gazprom. The Russian state-owned energy giant will no longer receive sponsorship from the 2. Bundesliga.
ℹ️ Following recent developments, FC Schalke 04 has decided to remove the logo of main sponsor GAZPROM from the club shirts. It will be replaced by the lettering “Schalke 04” instead.#S04 pic.twitter.com/9kpJLRzTQ7
Official. Schalke 04’s statement confirms that they will immediately remove the logo of Russian energy giant Gazprom from their shirts. The main sponsor will be removed with immediate effect. #Schalke pic.twitter.com/E78mF3uHGT
Schalke are not the only German club to speak out as Borussia Dortmund have condemned the violence.
Wir sind erschüttert und betroffen, dass auf europäischem Boden ein Krieg ausgebrochen ist. Der BVB verurteilt diesen eklatanten Verstoß gegen das Völkerrecht auf das Schärfste! Unsere Gedanken sind bei den Menschen in der #Ukraine.
“We are shocked and saddened that war has broken out on European soil. BVB strongly condemns this flagrant violation of international law! Our hearts go out to the people of #Ukraine.”
Russian and Ukrainian players speak out
Ruslan Malinovskyi, a Ukraine international, scored a brace for Atalanta in the Europa League on Thursday against Olympiacos. After scoring his first goal, he revealed a message on a shirt calling for an end to the war.
A strong objective with an even stronger message.Atalanta’s Ukrainian midfielder Ruslan Malinovskyi showed off a ‘no war in Ukraine’ shirt after scoring the first of two brilliant goals. pic.twitter.com/Oc4GPcUveA
— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) February 24, 2022
He did not receive a yellow card for taking off his jersey.
Russia and Dynamo Moscow striker Fedor Smolov have taken to social media to express their support for Ukraine during the turmoil. He is the first Russian player to do so.
Fedor Smolov is one of the first Russian footballers to denounce the Russian invasion of Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/aoZ2S8oHDk
Other players and fans showed their support for Ukraine in the Europa League on Thursday.
Barcelona and Napoli players displayed a banner that read ‘STOP WAR’ ahead of their Europa League match. pic.twitter.com/TCYWiPLbij
Dinamo Zagreb Ultras tonight!
We support the Ukrainian people!
— Zorya Londonsk (@ZoryaLondonsk) February 24, 2022
Bodo/Glimt fans tonight against Celtic
Thank you for your support! pic.twitter.com/As9ifpLjnS
— Zorya Londonsk (@ZoryaLondonsk) February 24, 2022
Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich could be punished
Russian billionaire and Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich could find himself in trouble over his alleged relationship with Putin. On Thursday, a British Member of Parliament questioned whether Abramovich should still be allowed to own a club in England.
“Mr. Abramovich should no longer be able to own a football club in this country? We should consider seizing some of his assets, including his £152m home, and make sure others who have Tier 1 visas like this don’t engage in malicious activity in the UK. United. pic.twitter.com/yFnWQ8eOG8
The UK is targeting Russian oligarchs with sanctions following the invasion, but Abramovich was not included among those targeted. Reports say the Russian owner is unlikely to ever be allowed to live in the UK.