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by Andrew Jones
On 24th of February, 2022 the world changed in a drastic way. That is the day when Russia and Putin fully invaded Ukraine, starting an unnecessary and tragic war due to political differences. Countries around the world including the United States and the UK have created strong sanctions against Russia to help slow down or even create an end to this war.
As a consequence of these events, we have also witnessed several sanctions from the sporting world being applied to Russia across multiple disciplines.
Just recently, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has declared Russia to have violated the Olympic Truce but the sanctions around the soccer league could greatly hurt the Russian citizens and its overall economy as well.
It wasn’t long ago, I remember watching the 2018 FIFA World Cup which was held in Russia and it was a big accomplishment for Putin and Russia’s effort to create the prominence of sport in his country. Now, because of his recent actions, the country is banned from competing in the organisation’s future tournaments.
Also recently, Spartak Moscow, who was one of the 16 teams competing in the Europa League was evidently thrown out of the competition. This obviously has created an upset crowd of fans and also all the sponsors within that team. Addition to this, Gazprom Stadium in St. Petersburg, which also has the naming rights for Russia’s largest energy provider, was set to host the UEFA Champions League Final. They were stripped from probably one of the biggest football events in the world due to the Country’s teams being banned from playing in any European competition.
You can see that the short-term impact is evident, but let's take a look at what the long-term impact could look like for Russia as well.
I’ve already mentioned the Olympics, the World Cup, Spartak Moscow and the UEFA Champions League Final but here’s an additional list below of what has happened in sports involving Russia already due to the recent chain of events.
According to Global Data Sport’s figures, $180 million was spent across all sports in Russia annually and $618.3 million was spent across the length of those contracts in total.
Chelsea's Roman Abramovich under heavy sanctions. Image credit: Telegraph
Some commentary from leading voices on the topic:
“When a country is at war, it’s not right to race there. That’s for sure,” - Max Verstappen, Oracle Red Bull Racing
"This is different as governments, business and other international organizations have imposed sanctions and measures against Russia across all sectors. Sport has to step up and join these efforts to end this war and restore peace. We cannot and should not sit this one out.” - Sebastian Coe, British Politician and Sports Industry Icon
“There has never been a more important time in our history. The action we are witnessing by the sports fraternity towards Russia will change the global sporting landscape forever. Sports will be part of the collective voice that will drive positive change to end this injustice.” - Dharpan Randhawa, President - Talisman
“I know this brings some uncertainty, but the government will work with the league and clubs to keep football being played while ensuring sanctions hit those intended.” - Nadine Dorries, British Politician, Secretary for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports
Talisman is an award-winning global agency redefining sports, entertainment, gaming & Web3 partnerships across key industries and regions. With offices in Dubai & New York City, Talisman thrives on unparalleled storytelling, reflecting the great brands and creative minds they have the pleasure of working with. With global resources and connectivity in key markets, Talisman has won prominent industry awards for executing groundbreaking partnerships & activations across sports & gaming.
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