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Russia vs Ukraine: Russian footballer speaks out while Schalke remove Gazprom from jersey

The sporting world has condemned the Russian aggression in Ukraine, with some of Russia's own sporting stars among the critics.

Russia vs Ukraine: Russian footballer speaks out while Schalke remove Gazprom from jersey

Fedor Smolov is the first Russian footballer to speak out against his government's act in Ukraine. (Getty)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 24 Feb 2022 3:14 PM GMT

Russian footballer Fedor Smolov, a 32-year-old striker currently playing for his country, became one of the first Russian sportsmen to express his heartbreak at the invasion of Ukraine by his country.

He posted on Instagram: "No to war."

The 32-year-old Dynamo Moscow striker posted this hours after the launch of the Russian invasion was announced by President Vladimir Putin. On Wednesday Benfica's Ukrainian striker Roman Yaremchuk celebrated a Champions League goal by revealing a shirt bearing his country's coat of arms.

The Champions League final is set to be moved away from St Petersburg, according to reports.

German club Schalke have removed the Gazprom logo from their team shirts after Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The Bundesliga club are sponsored by the energy giant, which is majority-owned by the Russian state, but will replace the logo with "Schalke 04".

"Following recent developments, FC Schalke 04 have decided to remove the logo of main sponsor GAZPROM from the club's shirts," the German club said in a statement.

Australian aerial skier Danielle Scott backed out from this weekend's World Cup event in Yaroslavl, Russia due to the invasion.

Four-time Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel said he will not race in the Russian Grand Prix in September.

"I woke up to this morning's news shocked. I think it's horrible to see what is happening. Obviously if you look at the calendar we have a race scheduled in Russia (on Sept. 25)," Vettel said Thursday at pre-season testing in Barcelona.

"My own opinion is I should not go, I will not go," he said. "I think it's wrong to race in the country. I'm sorry for the innocent people that are losing their lives, that are getting killed (for) stupid reasons and a very strange and mad leadership."

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