Sports Operators Are Beginning To Sanction Russia
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war against Ukraine is being felt in the sports world. The governing body of European soccer matches, UEFA, has pulled the Champions League final out of St. Petersburg, Russia. The final will now be played on May 28th in Paris, France. UEFA has also told Russian and Ukrainian clubs still competing in UEFA-sponsored games in the Champions League, the Europa League and the Conference League that the teams will have to play home matches at neutral venues “until further notice”. The German soccer team FC Schalke 04 is removing the Gazprom logo from their jerseys and replacing it with the name of the team. Gazprom is the Russian owned gas company.
Four-time Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel says he will not take part in a planned Grand Prix race in Sochi, Russia on September 25th. At this point the Grand Prix event is still on the schedule. The International Olympic Committee, which has appeased Putin by allowing Russian athletes to compete despite throwing the Russian team out of recent Olympics because of a drug doping scheme, is in a so-called truce period as the Paralympics Games is about to open in Beijing. The IOC condemned Putin and Russia in a statement. “Following recent events, the IOC is deeply concerned about the safety of the Olympic Community in Ukraine. It has established a task force to closely monitor the situation and to coordinate humanitarian assistance to members of the Olympic Community in Ukraine where possible.” The IOC truce went into effect on January 28th and extends to March 20th and calls for IOC nations “to use sport as a tool to promote peace, dialogue and reconciliation in areas of conflict during and beyond the period of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
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