The Russian invasion of Ukraine has sent ripples across the world, including the sports fraternity. While organisations like UEFA and FIA are contemplating scrapping major events like the Champions League final and the Russian Grand Prix, many athletes have spoken publicly, condemning the actions of the Russian state.
Players And Football Fans Protest
Manchester City’s Ukrainian star, Oleksandr Zinchenko, recently posted on his Instagram story wishing Putin “suffers the most painful death.”
Ahead of Zenit’s away tie against Seville, supporters gathered outside the stadium to show their support for Ukraine. The Zenit St Petersburg team is owned by Gazprom, a Russian energy giant.
Similarly, ahead of Barcelona’s tie against Napoli, both the teams came together to hold a banner, which stated a clear message.
During a Europa Conference League match with Fenerbahce, the Slavia Prague donned a yellow jersey.
In a recent viral image, Atalanta’s Ruslan Malinovskyi, a Ukrainian international was seen celebrating his goal this way.
Brazilian players ask for help
Brazillian football players who play for Ukrainian clubs like Shakhtar Donetsk and Dynamo Kyiv have appealed to their government for help in leaving the country.
Schalke Removes Gazprom logo From Its Jersey
Legendary Bundesliga club, Schalke, who are battling in the second division have announced that they will be removing the logo of their main sponsor Gazprom. The Russian state-owned energy company had been Schalke’s jersey sponsor since 2007.
Poland, Sweden And the Czech Republic call for a change of venue
The trio has released a joint statement, asking for their 2022 World Cup qualifying matches to be moved away from Russia.
Champions League final to be moved to France
Initially, St. Petersburg was set to host the Champions League Final on May 28. However, an increasing number of media outlets are now reporting that UEFA has completely withdrawn the hosting rights from the Russian city and the final will now be held in Stade De France in Paris.
Formula One Champions Come Swinging
Four-time Formula 1 champion, Sebastian Vettel, has announced that he’ll be completely pulling out of September’s Russian Grand Prix, saying “I won’t go to Russia. Personally, I’m shocked and sad to see what’s going on, so we will see going forward but I think my decision is already made.”
Defending F1 champion, Max Verstappen came out in support of Vettel, saying “I think when a country is at war it’s not correct to race there, that’s for sure. But it’s not only what I think, it’s the whole paddock (that is) going to decide what we are going to do next.”
HAAS Will Strip Its Cars Off The Russian colours
In a statement, Formula 1 team Haas has announced that it’ll not be using the colours of its title sponsor, Uralkali, during the day of pre-season testing in Barcelona. Uralkali is a fertilizer company owned by Dmitry Mazepin, father of Nikita Mazepin, who himself drives for the F1 team.
“Haas will present its VF-22 in a plain white livery, without the Uralkali branding, for the third and final day of testing Catalonia,” the team added.
Russian GP Cancelled
Following immense backlash from both inside and outside the paddock, FIA has pulled the plug on the Russian GP, which was due to take place in September.