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25th Feb 2022

UEFA in talks to end Gazprom sponsorship following Russian invasion of Ukraine

Daniel Brown

Gazprom has been one of Uefa’s most lucrative partners since 2012

Uefa is holding talks with its lawyers about ending its deal with major Russian sponsors Gazprom, as reported by inews.

Gazprom, a majority state-owned energy company, has been one of Uefa’s most lucrative partners since 2012, with the Russian giant singing a three-year extension deal worth around £33.5m to European football’s governing body in May 2021.

The report stated that Uefa is speaking to its lawyers about ending the partnership with Gazprom following Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

On Friday (February 25), the governing body announced that, following an emergency meeting of its Executive Committee, Russia had been stripped of the Champions League final.

It was scheduled to take place in St Petersburg on May 28, but Uefa came under increasing pressure to find an alternative host city after Russian president Vladimir Putin launched a full-scale invasion on Ukraine.

Instead, the final will take place at the Stade de France, Paris. It will be the first time France has hosted the final since 2006.

“Uefa wishes to express its thanks and appreciation to French President Emmanuel Macron for his personal support and commitment to have European club football’s most prestigious game moved to France at a time of unparalleled crisis,” Uefa said in a statement.

“Together with the French government, Uefa will fully support multi-stakeholder efforts to ensure the provision of rescue for football players and their families in Ukraine who face dire human suffering, destruction and displacement.

“At today’s meeting, the Uefa Executive Committee also decided that Russian and Ukrainian clubs and national teams competing in Uefa competitions will be required to play their home matches at neutral venues until further notice.

“The Uefa Executive Committee further determined to remain on standby to convene further extraordinary meetings, on a regular ongoing basis where required, to reassess the legal and factual situation as it evolves and adopt further decisions as necessary.”

However, there was no mention of the sponsorship deal with Gazprom at the emergency meeting.

While it is thought that a final decision on the Gazprom partnership is yet to be made, a Uefa spokesperson said: “There will be other meetings of the Exco soon where additional matters will be addressed.”

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