Ukraine-Russia invasion: Schalke removes sponsor Gazprom from their shirt

Schalke GazpromGetty Images

German second-tier outfit Schalke have announced that they will be removing Gazprom sponsorship from the club's shirts following advances by Russian troops onto Ukrainian soil.

With political tension mounting in Eastern European, Russian military forces have invaded neighbouring Ukraine on the orders of president Vladimir Putin.

And Schalke have confirmed they will be replacing the Gazprom lettering on their shirt, while board member Matthias Warnig is to step down.

What has been said?

A statement from Schalke on the club’s official website reads: "In view of the events, development and escalation of the past few days, FC Schalke 04 has decided to remove the lettering of its main sponsor - 'Gazprom' - from the jerseys.

"This step follows discussions with Gazprom Germania. Instead, 'Schalke 04' will be on the chest of the Royal Blues."

The German club added on Matthias Warnig's departure, with the 66-year-old having served on the board as a representative of Gazprom: "Matthias Warnig informed FC Schalke 04's supervisory board on Thursday that he is to step down from his position with immediate effect.

"The 66-year-old has been part of the board as a representative of main sponsor Gazprom since July 2019.

"Once all formalities are completed, Warnig will no longer be a part of the Royal Blues’ supervisory board.

"FC Schalke 04 would like to thank Matthias Warnig for his involvement with the club over the past two and a half years."

The bigger picture

UEFA, who are yet to decide whether the 2022 Champions League final will continue to be staged in Saint Petersburg on May 28, are also under pressure regarding their association with Russian energy corporation Gazprom.

A letter sent to European football’s governing body from EU politicians reads: "We call on you to stop considering Saint Petersburg and other Russian cities as venues for international football competitions and to choose as a first and very urgent step an alternative venue for the Champions League final on May 28, 2022.

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"In addition, we appeal to you to convene a special meeting of the UEFA Executive Committee, to terminate cooperation with Gazprom as UEFA sponsor and to consider sanctions against individual Russian officials who are complicit in the violation of international law."

Competitive football in Ukraine has been suspended following the Russian invasion, with a number of players and coaches currently trapped in the country as commercial air travel is shut down.

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