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England's Premier League suspends broadcast deal with Russian partner

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London, March 8 (IANS) The English Premier League, the world’s most-prominent football league, has suspended the agreement with its Russian broadcast partner over the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

The decision to end the deal with Rambler (Okko Sport), was made at a shareholders’ meeting on Tuesday and was accompanied by an announcement that it was donating £1m “to support the people of Ukraine”.

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Apart from Premier League and the English Football League (EFA), reports from the United Kingdom said that the Football Association (FA) is also considering ending its broadcast deal with the same partner.

“The Premier League and its clubs today unanimously agreed to suspend our agreement with Russian broadcast partner Rambler (Okko Sport) with immediate effect and to donate £1 million to support the people of Ukraine,” the league said in a statement on Tuesday.

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“The League strongly condemns Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. We call for peace and our thoughts are with all those impacted. The £1 million donation will be made to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) to deliver humanitarian aid directly to those in need.”

“This action follows a weekend of matches displaying League-wide support for Ukraine. All club captains wore special armbands and fans joined players, managers, match officials and club staff in a moment of reflection and solidarity before kick-off at each match,” the statement added.

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“Big screens displayed ‘Football Stands Together’ against the backdrop of the blue-and-yellow colours of the Ukrainian flag. These words were also shown on LED perimeter boards during matches.”

The Rambler deal is estimated to be worth £6 million annually to the Premier League.

The decision will affect the broadcast of Premier League matches in Russia. The decision not to show games in Russia had been expected after the EPL’s chief executive, Richard Masters, said last Thursday the situation was under review.

–IANS

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