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SPORTS UPDATE

Russia to watch Chelsea/Lille tie as Uefa fail to make changes

Chelsea’s Champions League clash in Lille will be broadcast live in Russia on a state-owned TV channel that was set up following a presidential decree from Vladimir Putin.

The Premier League, EFL and FA have all suspended their broadcast contracts in Russia.

But UEFA have yet to make any changes to their TV deals following the invasion of Ukraine meaning that Chelsea’s last-16 second-leg tie will be broadcast live despite Blues owner Roman Abramovich being sanctioned last week.

Chelsea’s continued television presence in Russia is a source of potential embarrassment to the European champions, who are attempting to distance themselves from Abramovich, and will lead to questions being asked of UEFA

Despite banning Russian teams from their competitions and cancelling their £33.5million-a-year sponsorship deal with state-owned energy company Gazprom the European competition organiser are continuing to honour their television contracts a curious anomaly particularly given the ownership structure of the rights holders.

All Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League games in Russia are broadcast by Match TV, which is owned by Gazprom Media.

Fledgling channel Match TV beat Rambler Media, who own the Premier League rights, to win a three-year contract to broadcast the Champions League between 2021 and 2024, just a few years after the broadcaster was set up on the orders of Putin.

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