Manchester United have officially ended their relationship with Aeroflot, Russian owned airline that has been the club’s official carrier since 2013.
The Premier League club had to end their commercial partnership with the airline over the Russian invasion of Ukraine on Thursday, February 24, 2022.
Recall that on the said date, Russian military operatives launched missiles into some major cities of Ukraine in line with the directives of the country’s president, Vladimir Putin.
The airstrikes reportedly affected the Ukrainian capital Kyiv and two other cities in Ukraine Odessa and Kharkiv.
Since then, there have been a series of reactions from world powers, organizations, and citizens of the world against the unprecedented attack on Ukraine, a sovereign state in Europe.
On Thursday night, FC Barcelona and Napoli had to display “Stop War” ahead of a Europa League game to show solidarity with the Ukrainian people.
In the same vein, the European football governing body, UEFA, had to announce earlier today that the UEFA Champions League final which was scheduled to take place at the 68,000-capacity Gazprom Arena in St Petersburg, Russia on May 28, 2022, has been moved to Paris, France, due to the crisis between Ukraine and Russia.
In line with the series of sanctions the world is slamming against Russia in response to the country’s attack on Ukraine, Manchester United have decided to end the Aeroflot sponsorship deal worth over £40 million.
According to Sky, a Manchester United spokesperson said: “In light of events in Ukraine, we have withdrawn Aeroflot’s sponsorship rights.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.”
Before Manchester United officially ended their relationship with Aeroflot which they always use to fly around Europe during continental games, the Premier League club decided not to fly to Spain via the airline on Tuesday, ahead of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg game against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday, February 23, 2022.
The Premier League club flew to Madrid for the Champions League game which ended in a 1-1 draw via a chartered airline Titan Airways.
In the same vein, the United Kingdom government have banned Aeroflot which is majorly controlled by the Russian government, from flying in UK’s airspace. To effect the ban, the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority has suspended Aeroflot’s foreign carrier permit.
Meanwhile, the world football governing body, FIFA, has permitted players and clubs to protest against the uprising between Russia and Ukraine.
Recall that before now, it was against FIFA rule and the rule of football associations across the world for a player or a club to make any display during games that have a political undertone.
But such a rule will not apply to the crisis between Ukraine and Russia until the dispute between the two European countries is settled amicably.