By Adam Crafton
1 March 2022Updated 4:42 PM GMT

Football is still maintaining lucrative broadcast relationships with controversial Russian sources.

On Monday, UEFA announced they would be ending their sponsorship deal with state-owned Russian energy company Gazprom amid the ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

Ukraine have asked sports leagues to stop taking Russian money, which Manchester City's Oleksandr Zinchenko echoed.

However, other organisations within the game are still profiting from state-owned and sanctioned Russian bodies.

The Premier League's TV deal for Russia between 2019 and the end of the 2021-2022 is with Rambler Media, which is owned by state-owned bank Sberbank.

Sberbank was targeted last Thursday by US sanctions, limiting their ability to conduct business internationally. They were also expelled from the international SWIFT payment system.

On Tuesday, Great Britain's Treasury also added Sberbank to its list of Russian entities sanctioned over the invasion of Ukraine.

Local reports suggest the deal, which leads to games being shown on over-the-top platform Okko Sport, is worth around €7 million ($8.2 million) per year.

This has led to doubts over payments for television rights can be made in the near future.

The Premier League has not yet contacted its clubs in relation to any change of its broadcast partnerships in Russia.

The Premier League has also agreed a contract with Match TV. Match TV is owned by Gazprom Media, ultimately owned by Gazprombank — which was also named by the US Treasury last week. The deal comes into effect for the 2022-23 season and is reported to be a six-year agreement worth in the region of €50 million.

Match TV was also ordered to open by Vladimir Putin, as per decree No 715 signed by the president of the Russian Federation on June 24, 2009.

Elsewhere in England, the Football Association has a contract with Match TV to show the FA Cup on the channel in Russia, while UEFA also has a further contract with Match TV to show the Champions League in the region.

The Athletic understands La Liga, who have their own agreement with Match TV, are reviewing all of their business dealings in Russia.

Disney is pausing releases of new films in Russia, including the upcoming Pixar movie Turning Red.

The Athletic has approached the Premier League, the FA and UEFA for comment. The Premier League and FA declined to comment at the point of publication, while UEFA has not commented.

The TV stations remain listed as broadcast partners on the websites of Premier League, FA and UEFA.

(Photo: PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
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