China plans Premier League blackout this weekend over Ukraine support
China are set to block coverage of Premier League matches this weekend due to the competition’s show of support for Ukraine.
The Premier League released a statement on Wednesday saying it “unreservedly rejects” the Russian invasion and expressed its intention to show solidarity with Ukraine in various ways throughout this weekend’s 10-match schedule. end.
The BBC first reported on Friday that Chinese rights holder iQIYI Sports reacted by refusing to show the matches.
— Premier League (@premierleague) March 2, 2022
The Premier League declined to comment on the report, but the PA news agency understands the blackout must continue. The move was interpreted as a sign of China’s strong relationship with Russia.
Premier League chief executive Richard Masters told the Financial Times Business of Football Summit on Thursday that the league’s Russian TV deal with Rambler was “under review” and could be suspended or terminated soon, although that it is likely that games will be broadcast this weekend.
Masters seemed comfortable about it, on the grounds that Russian viewers would see the strength of pro-Ukrainian sentiment that exists at Premier League clubs.
FIFA and UEFA are considering a request from the Ukrainian federation to postpone their World Cup play-off against Scotland – scheduled for March 24 – until June to give them more time to prepare, the Ukrainian national league currently suspended due to the dispute. .
The winner of that tie would play the winner of the semi-final Wales v Austria for a place in Qatar, and Football Association of Wales chief executive Noel Mooney said he would expect that the semi-final will also be delayed if the Scotland- Ukraine tie is handed over.
Mooney told BBC Radio Wales: “We know Ukraine has asked for a postponement until June, but these things are changing quite quickly.
“I spoke to my Ukrainian counterpart and I will speak to him again.
“We will certainly make the right decision for football and for our Ukrainian friends, while taking into account that we would like to qualify for our first World Cup since 1958.”
Mooney said he was attending a pre-arranged meeting with representatives of the Scottish Football Association this weekend where the situation would be discussed.
Meanwhile, the Polish football federation has written to FIFA demanding Belarus be suspended from world football over its support for the Russian invasion.
All Belarusian clubs and national teams participating in UEFA competitions will be required to play their home matches at neutral venues with immediate effect.
In addition, no spectators should attend matches in which teams from Belarus are the hosts.
— UEFA (@UEFA) March 3, 2022
UEFA announced on Wednesday that Belarusian national teams and clubs should play UEFA competition matches at home on neutral territory and behind closed doors until further notice, but so far they are free to play. compete.
Russian clubs and national teams have been suspended from international football indefinitely by FIFA and UEFA, although the Russian Football Union has appealed the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
FIFA has “cooled down” on a proposal to allow foreign players based in Russia to terminate their contracts without penalty, sources told the AP.
Global players’ union FIFPRO and the World Leagues Forum wrote to FIFA on Wednesday demanding that Russian-based players be granted this right and that no sanctions be imposed on clubs who signed such a player once their contract Russian terminated.
FIFA had initially been receptive to the idea, sources told PA, but after a meeting on Friday it is now feared they are reluctant to make an exception to player transfer rules in this case, which would leave players blocked.