Chelsea’s Champions League clash with Lille is set to be broadcast on state television in Russia, with UEFA yet to follow the Premier League in pulling broadcasts of their competition from the country.
Companies from around the world have been boycotting Russia since Vladimir Putin made the decision to invade Ukraine, but UEFA competitions can still be shown live. Clubs from the country were removed from competition by the European governing body but a similar decision has not been made on broadcasting rights.
The Premier League, FA and EFL have all suspended their broadcast deals in Russia since the invasion of Ukraine began. But due to UEFA’s lack of action, Thomas Tuchel’s side will be viewed on a state-owned television on Wednesday night.
Match TV will show the game, a station that won the rights to the Champions League for 2021 until 2024 after being set up on the orders of Putin in 2018, according to a report from MailOnline.
The station is owned by Gazprom Media. After coming under plenty of pressure, UEFA severed their sponsorship deal with state-owned energy company Gazprom, worth £33.5 million a year, and expelled all Russian clubs from their competitions. Yet the fact matches are still being broadcast on one of the company’s assets is sure to raise plenty of questions.
Having their match shown live on Russian TV is likely to be a cause of conversation at Stamford Bridge, too. Last week saw Roman Abramovich sanctioned by the UK government, who say he has links to Putin, something the billionaire has always denied.