Ukraine Invasion: Adidas Suspends Partnership With Russian Football Federation

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Adidas has suspended its partnership with the Russian Football Federation in the latest backlash to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

The German sportswear giant has served as the country’s kit manufacturer since 2008, designing the shirts for their home World Cup in 2018.

But they have put their agreement with the Russian national team on hold as the death toll rises in Eastern Europe.

Adidas’ decision comes after Manchester United announced they have ended their £40million deal with Russian-owned airline company Aeroflot.

A club statement read: “In light of events in Ukraine, we have withdrawn Aeroflot’s sponsorship rights. We share the concerns of our fans around the world and extend our sympathies to those affected.”

Elsewhere, UEFA have moved the Champions League final from Saint Petersburg to Paris while ending their £34million-per-season partnership with Russian state-owned energy company Gazprom.

European football’s governing body has also banned Russian sides from participating in their club competitions, leading to Spartak Moscow being kicked out of the Europa League.

In response, the capital-based club released a statement which read: “Spartak has millions of fans not only in Russia, but all over the world. Our successes and failures bring people from dozens of different countries together.

“We believe that sport, even in the most difficult times, should aim to build bridges, and not burn them. We are forced to obey a decision that we do not agree with.

“For now, we shall focus on domestic competitions, and are looking forward to a speedy achievement of peace that everybody needs.”

After initial deliberations, FIFA has also taken a harsh stance by banning Russia from competing in international fixtures, a sanction other sports are also imposing.

A statement reads: “Following the initial decisions adopted by the FIFA Council and the UEFA Executive Committee, which envisaged the adoption of additional measures, FIFA and UEFA have today decided together that all Russian teams, whether national representative teams or club teams, shall be suspended from participation in both FIFA and UEFA competitions until further notice.

“These decisions were adopted today by the Bureau of the FIFA Council and the Executive Committee of UEFA, respectively the highest decision-making bodies of both institutions on such urgent matters.

“Football is fully united here and in full solidarity with all the people affected in Ukraine. Both Presidents hope that the situation in Ukraine will improve significantly and rapidly so that football can again be a vector for unity and peace amongst people.”

Meanwhile, Formula One has removed the 2022 Russian Grand Prix – which was due to take place in Sochi in September – from its calendar.