Premier League players, managers and fans given go-ahead to display Ukraine flags as a showing of solidarity amidst Russian conflict
- Premier League players and fans can protest against the Russian invasion
- The FA will not consider presence of flags in a stadium as a breach of their rules
- The world governing body previously told competition to apply ‘common sense’
Premier League players, managers and fans have the green light to protest against the Russian invasion by displaying Ukraine flags at their games this weekend in a show of solidarity for the besieged nation.
The FA will not consider the presence of flags on the pitch or in the stands as a breach of their rules. The governing body usually prohibit anything construed as a political message.
It comes as the Premier League’s Ukrainian players voiced their anguish on social media, including Manchester City’s Oleksandr Zinchenko, Everton’s Vitalii Mykolenko and West Ham’s Andriy Yarmolenko.
Premier League players, managers and fans can protest against the Russian invasion
Premier League stars, like Man City’s Zinchenko, have shown their support for Ukraine
Everton host City in a televised fixture on Saturday evening and will display a banner in support of Mykolenko and Ukraine.
The FA will monitor activities in all their fixtures this weekend and will investigate players or officials who protest on a case-by-case basis. Should any players reveal politically charged shirts in reference to the Russian invasion, they will be liable to sanctions. Displaying the Ukraine flag will not get clubs into trouble.
Sportsmail contacted FIFA, who did not respond. The world governing body previously told competition organisers to apply ‘common sense’ when considering whether to punish players.
In another move, UEFA will today confirm their decision to move the Champions League final from St Petersburg following an emergency meeting of their executive committee. Rome’s Stadio Olimpico has emerged as UEFA’s favoured option.
City’s Zinchenko posted this emotional piece on Instagram earlier in the week
England’s hopes of gaining another showpiece event after hosting last year’s European Championship final at Wembley are likely to be dashed.
The FA have indicated their willingness to act as emergency hosts at Wembley if required, but were not actively lobbying for the final as they are conscious of the fact UEFA have already awarded them many major events. In addition to the latter stages of the delayed Euro 2020, England will also host the women’s Euros this summer and the 2024 Champions League final.
The UEFA summit will also discuss FIFA’s £33million commercial deal with Russian state-owned energy firm Gazprom. The partnership has been under intense scrutiny since the conflict’s escalation.
The pressure on UEFA intensified yesterday after German club Schalke, who are sponsored by Gazprom, revealed their intention to remove the firm’s logo from the front of their shirts.
Chelsea’s owner Roman Abramovich has faced calls to be stripped of his right to own the club
Meanwhile, Chelsea’s oligarch owner Roman Abramovich has faced calls to be stripped of his right to own the club after documents linked him to Vladimir Putin’s regime. Labour MP Chris Bryant used parliamentary privilege yesterday to share a leaked Home Office document from 2019 in the House of Commons.
Bryant said: ‘I have got hold of a leaked document from 2019 from the Home Office which says in relation to Mr Abramovich: “As part of HMG’s (Her Majesty’s Government) Russia strategy aimed at targeting illicit finance and malign activity, Abramovich remains of interest to HMG due to his links to the Russian state and his public association with corrupt activity and practices. An example of this is Abramovich admitting in court proceedings that he paid for political influence. Therefore HMG is focused on ensuring that individuals linked to to illicit finance and malign activity are unable to base themselves in the UK and will use the relevant tools at its disposal, including immigration powers to prevent this”.
‘That is nearly three years ago yet remarkably little has been done in relation. Surely Mr Abramovich should no longer be able to own a football club in this country? Surely we should be looking at seizing some of his assets including his £152m home?’
The EFL Cup final between Chelsea and Liverpool on Sunday is expected to go ahead. There is said to be some political concern at the prospect of Russian-owned Chelsea celebrating victory, while there are also concerns that Blues fans could become a target for anti-Russian protesters.
The EFL Cup final between Chelsea and Liverpool on Sunday is expected to go ahead
Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday announced major Russian banks will be excluded from the UK financial system and oligarchs, such as Abramovich, have been targeted in new sanctions.
Johnson also announced Russia’s national airline Aeroflot — a commercial partner of Manchester United — will be banned from landing in the UK. United are reviewing their partnership with the airline and look likely to end their commercial relationship.
Elsewhere, the FAs of Sweden, Poland and the Czech Republic released a joint statement appealing to the FIFA and UEFA to cancel their scheduled World Cup play-off matches in Russia.
All three nations were scheduled to play in the World Cup qualifiers next month. Sportsmail also understands that Russia’s intention to rival the UK and Ireland’s bid to host Euro 2028 is in tatters. Turkey are also said to be contemplating a bid