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07th Mar 2022

Premier League’s pro-Ukraine message accidentally broadcast in Russia

Callum Boyle

The message was broadcasted during the Manchester derby

The Premier League’s message of support for Ukraine was inadvertently screened on Russian television during the Manchester derby on Sunday.

With Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine intensifying throughout last week the English top flight had announced plans to show solidarity ahead of each of the weekend’s fixtures. Club captains each wore armbands in the colours of the Ukrainian flag, with players, fans and officials urged to join a moment’s applause before kick-off.

Okko, the channel which broadcasts Premier League footage in Russia, had cut straight to kick-off in Sunday’s game from the Etihad in an attempt to miss the Ukrainian support.

However, as pointed out by The Athletic, the channel accidentally displayed a pro-Ukraine banner in place of the match clock during their coverage of the Manchester derby.

After receiving a number of complaints, the rights holder apologised to their customers on Twitter, insisting that it was an issue they were unable to resolve as they received their picture directly from a supplier.

Okko Sport had also hidden the words “Stop Invasion” during a La Liga game between Granada and Cadiz last week.

Russian players who play the popular Premier League Fantasy Premier League game also saw the “Football Stands Together” message with the colours of the Ukrainian flag.

A spokesperson said: “Since the signal is transmitted by the copyright holder, the display of this phrase was done by the broadcast signal copyright holder.”

The game is still available to customers in Russia despite many other big-name companies pulling their products from the country.

China also pulled their coverage of this weekend’s Premier League games as a result of the planned support for Ukraine, given their close relationship to Putin and the Russian government.

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