Manchester United have ended their sponsorship deal with the Russian state airline Aeroflot, following Vladimir Putin’s invasion of neighbouring Ukraine.
The UK government on Thursday banned Aeroflot from flying in its airspace and the Civil Aviation Authority had suspended its foreign carrier permit.
Aeroflot had been a commercial partner of Manchester United since 2013.
The Premier League club said in a statement: “In light of events in Ukraine, we have withdrawn Aeroflot’s sponsorship rights.
“We share the concerns of our fans around the world and extend our sympathies to those affected.”
United regularly flew to European matches with Aeroflot under their longstanding commercial partnership. But United changed their travel plans for Wednesday’s Champions League match against Atletico Madrid, instead flying to Spain with a charter airline, UK-based Titan Airways.
Aeroflot were announced as United’s “official carrier” in 2013. According to the club’s website, the airline provided “strategic advice” on the team’s travel arrangements and provide charter services “whenever suitable”.
Prime minister Boris Johnson told the House of Commons on Thursday that Aeroflot will imminently be banned from touching down planes in the UK as part of the “largest and most severe” package of sanctions the UK has imposed on Russia to punish the “blood-stained aggressor” Vladimir Putin for invading Ukraine.
Johnson extended punitive measures to hit five further oligarchs, including the Russian president’s former son-in-law, and to tackle more than 100 businesses and individuals.
There will also be an asset freeze on all major Russian banks, including immediately against VTB.