(Reuters) -Nike has terminated its sponsorship deal with Russian Premier League club Spartak Moscow because they will not be taking part in European competitions next season, the company and the club said.
UEFA, the governing body of European soccer, decided Russia would have no affiliated teams participating in its club competitions in the 2022-23 season due to Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine.
Spartak, who had been sponsored by Nike since 2005, said on Thursday they were looking for a new equipment supplier after Nike told them it would no longer be sponsoring the club.
In an emailed statement to Reuters on Friday, Nike said it had informed Spartak that it would no longer be the club’s kit sponsor “given UEFA’s decision to suspend all Russian clubs from UEFA competition.”
The Europa League last-16 matches between Spartak and RB Leipzig were called off in February after UEFA suspended all Russian clubs from its competitions.
Russia sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24 in what it called a special operation to degrade its southern neighbour’s military capabilities and root out people it called dangerous nationalists.
The West has imposed sweeping sanctions on Russia and provided Ukraine with military support in response.
(Reporting by Reuters, editing by Ed Osmond and Toby Davis)
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