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A German soccer team is removing a Russian logo from jerseys over the Ukraine attacks

The Russian state-owned gas company Gazprom is displayed on an advertising board as Benfica fans attend a Champions League soccer match between Benfica and Ajax in Lisbon.
Armando Franca
/
AP
The Russian state-owned gas company Gazprom is displayed on an advertising board as Benfica fans attend a Champions League soccer match between Benfica and Ajax in Lisbon.

German soccer team FC Schalke 04 announced the removal of sponsor Gazprom from the team's jerseys after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Gazprom is a state-owned Russian energy company and has been a sponsor for Schalke since 2007.

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

It will be replaced by lettering reading Schalke 04.

Although recently relegated to Germany's second tier, Schalke is one of the largest clubs in the country, having won the German championship seven times prior to the formation of the Bundesliga in 1963. Schalke last competed in the Champions League, Europe's premier soccer competition, during the 2018-19 season.

Gazprom is also one of eight major global sponsors of the UEFA Champions League, having extended its sponsorship only last year to the tune of a reported 40 million euros. The company also currently holds sponsorship rights to the men's Euro 2024 competition, as well as the 2023 UEFA Nations League Final.

UEFA released a statement Thursday saying it "shares the international community's significant concern for the security situation developing in Europe and strongly condemns the ongoing Russian military invasion in Ukraine."

The UEFA executive committee will meet tomorrow to discuss Ukraine as well as the location of the 2022 Champions League Final, which was slated to take place on May 28 in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Jeff Dean is the 2021 Military Veterans in Journalism intern for NPR reporting for the Business Desk and Newsdesk teams.