Russian sports facing huge crisis globally over war on Ukraine

ANKARA – As Russia begins to feel the toll of worldwide sanctions gripping almost every front, prompted by its ongoing war on Ukraine, Russian sport competitors and events are also facing a backlash.

After Moscow launched a war on its neighbor late last month, Russian teams and clubs have been barred from international tournaments.

The first steps were taken by the European football governing body, UEFA, to immediately show support for Ukraine on and off the pitch.

One day after Russia attacked Ukraine, UEFA moved this year’s signature UEFA Champions League final from St. Petersburg, Russia to Paris.

The sanctions were expanded when all Russian clubs and national teams were banned from participation in FIFA and UEFA competitions until further notice.

Spartak Moscow was disqualified from the 2021-22 UEFA Europa League after they made it to the Round of 16.

The Russian national football team is to be ineligible to face Poland in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification playoffs on March 24.

UEFA canceled its longtime partnership with Russian gas company Gazprom, and Adidas ended its collaboration with the Russian Football Union (RFU).

The RFU appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against the decision, which suspended Russian teams from international competitions.

Separately, US-based video game producer EA Sports decided to remove all Russian clubs and its national team from its platforms, including FIFA and NHL, to show support for Ukraine.

Abramovich to sell Chelsea

Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich will sell English club Chelsea after Russia's war on Ukraine, the club confirmed.

Abramovich, 55, said he will sell Chelsea for the English club's "best interest at heart" amid media speculation about his ownership.

The Abramovich era at the Blues started in 2003 when he purchased Chelsea for a reported £140 million (USD187 million).

Under his ownership, Chelsea became one of the top European clubs, winning several major titles including two UEFA Champions League, two UEFA Europa League, and five Premier League trophies.

Clubs cut ties with Russian sponsors

Football clubs from England and Germany canceled commercial ties with their Russian sponsors to protest the war.

England's Manchester United terminated their sponsorship deal with Russian airline Aeroflot.

Then Everton severed ties with USM, Megafon, and Yota.

Schalke 04 did the same as the German club ended their partnership with Gazprom after removing the Russian firm's logo from their shirts.

EuroLeague, FIBA suspend Russian basketball teams

Russian basketball clubs were barred from EuroLeague contests.

The EuroLeague Commercial Assets (ECA) suspended the "participation of Russian Federation teams" in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague, which includes CSKA Moscow, UNICS Kazan, and Zenit St Petersburg, as well as the 7DAYS EuroCup, with Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar.

FIBA, which governs basketball around the globe, announced that Russian teams and officials will no longer be allowed in international competitions.

F1 cuts ties with Russian GP

This week Formula One canceled its contract with the Russian Grand Prix.

"Formula 1 can confirm it has terminated its contract with the Russian Grand Prix promoter. It means that Russia will no longer have a race in the future," organizers said in a statement.

On Feb. 25, the F1 removed the Russian Grand Prix from its 2022 calendar, citing the war in Ukraine.

The race was scheduled for Sept. 25 in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi.

The 2022 Formula 1 season – without the Sochi race – will start on March 20 in Bahrain.

Russian, Belarusian athletes barred from Winter Paralympics

Russian and Belarusian Paralympic athletes also cannot compete in the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games.

To "preserve the integrity of these Games and the safety of all participants, we have decided to refuse the athlete entries from RPC (Russian Paralympic Committee) and NPC (National Paralympic Committee) Belarus," said International Paralympic Committee President Andrew Parsons.

The 2022 Winter Paralympics began on March 4 and lasts through March 13.

Russia's war on Ukraine, which began on Feb. 24, has been met with international outrage, with the European Union, US, and Britain, among others, implementing tough financial sanctions on Moscow.

More than 1.2 million people have fled Ukraine to neighboring countries, according to the UN Refugee Agency. (Anadolu)

Source: Business Diary Philippines

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