Russia has invaded Ukraine on multiple fronts after Russian President Vladimir Putin declared on TV that Russia did not plan to occupy Ukraine and demanded that its military lay down its arms. Kyiv have urged the EU to provide air defences.

Russia’s invasion is set to have huge repercussions for a number of global industries. From energy to aviation, the impact will be widely felt.

But what does this mean for sports?

Sporting bodies across Europe will take guidance from national governments on how to proceed with their sport.

Football

“Footballs” by beefy_n1 is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0
  • UEFA plan to announce that the champions league final will be from Russia

St Petersburg was scheduled to host the 2022 Champions League final on 28th May. But following events overnight, European football’s governing body Uefa will hold an emergency meeting to discuss the possibility of moving the final away from the Russian city.

  • Poland are due to travel to Moscow to play Russia in the semi-final of the Fifa World Cup play-off on Thursday 24th March.
  • There are doubts whether Ukraine’s World Cup play-off match against Scotland in Glasgow will go ahead as planned on 24th March.

The Polish football association (PZPN) has asked Fifa, the global governing body, to “urgently clarify the issues related to the organisation of the match”.

Games with Sweden and the Czech Republic, who could face Russia in Moscow in the play-off final, are also under question.

  • Ukraine’s domestic football league was meant to restart on Friday after the post-winter break. But now matches have been paused for a minimum of 30 days.

“After the imposition of martial law in Ukraine, the championship draw has been suspended,” the league said in a statement. 

Formula 1

“Formula One Russia GP / Oct 2014” by Eugene Kaspersky is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

The 2022 Russian Grand Prix is scheduled to take place on 25th September which isn’t for a while but Formula 1 has said it is “closely watching the very fluid developments and at this time has no further comment on the race”.

The page selling tickets for the event has disappeared from the official F1 website.

Aston Martin driver Sebastian Vettel has said that he will not race in Russia this year.

“Obviously if you look at the calendar we have a race scheduled in Russia,” Vettel said, “For myself, my own opinion is I should not go, I will not go. I think it’s wrong to race in the country.”

Max Verstappen, 2021 world champion, added: “When a country is at war it is not right to race there, that’s for sure.”

Fan’s are also calling for the Grand Prix to be cancelled.