Uefa has severed its lucrative commercial links with Russian energy provider Gazprom with immediate effect in response to the ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
The administrative body for European football took the unprecedented step to tear up all existing sponsorship agreements for the Champions League, national team competitions and Euro 2024, a move that may end up costing the body tens of millions in lost income every season.
Uefa agreed to a multi-million-pound extension of Gazprom’s Champions League sponsorship until 2024 last year, but this association proved to be politically untenable in light of Russia’s unprovoked military aggression.
Faced with the risk of lasting reputational damage from ‘sportswashing a warring nation,’ Uefa officials have elected to pay a heavy financial price now rather than firefight an indefinite PR crisis.
UEFA has today decided to end its partnership with Gazprom across all competitions.
The decision is effective immediately and covers all existing agreements including the UEFA Champions League, UEFA national team competitions and UEFA EURO 2024.
— UEFA (@UEFA) February 28, 2022
The Champion’s League final was due to have been held at Zenit Saint Petersburg’s Krestovsky Stadium, also known as the Gazprom Arena, on May 28, but this has now been switched to the Stade de France in Paris.
The measures follow moves by both Fifa and Uefa to suspend Russian clubs and national teams from all competitions until further notice in a show of solidarity with the people of Ukraine.