Manchester United said Friday they had ended their sponsorship deal with Russia’s flagship airline Aeroflot after President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
The British government on Thursday imposed a biting package of sanctions on Moscow, which included banning Russian carriers from UK airspace.
Premier League club United announced Aeroflot as their “official carrier” in 2013 and have regularly flown to European matches on the company’s planes. The latest deal was due to run until 2023.
But the club, who used charter airline Titan Airways for their Champions League last-16 away leg against Atletico Madrid earlier this week, announced that they had severed ties with the airline.
“In light of events in Ukraine, we have withdrawn Aeroflot’s sponsorship rights,” United said in a statement.
“We share the concerns of our fans around the world and extend our sympathies to those affected.”
The Manchester United website had described Aeroflot as providing “strategic advice” on travel arrangements but a link to the relevant page no longer worked on Friday.
The Aeroflot website still listed United on its list of partners.
Moscow on Friday banned all UK-linked planes, including transiting flights, from its airspace, saying the decision was taken “as a response to unfriendly decisions of the UK aviation authorities”.
Invading Russian forces reached the Ukrainian capital Kyiv on Friday, with Putin defying a barrage of international sanctions to press on with the invasion.