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Adidas Suspends Partnership with Russian Football Union Amid Conflict With Ukraine

Adidas is suspending its long-term partnership with the Russian Football Union (RFU), the German sportswear company confirmed to FN.

Adidas said on Tuesday that its partnership with RFU, the governing body that oversees football in Russia, has been halted, effective immediately. The news comes as the conflict between Russia and Ukraine intensifies and as other companies make similar moves to show a stance against Russia’s aggressive actions towards Ukraine.

In 2008, Adidas entered into a long-term partnership with RFU that was set to last through 2018. Via the deal, Adidas supplied RFU teams with uniforms, also available for retail purchase, and expanded its reach in a major athletic market. The deal was renewed by Adidas and RFU in 2018 and set to expire this year.

Adidas is not the only organization to take a firm stance against Russia. World soccer body FIFA and the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) on Monday banned all Russian teams from participating in athletic competitions organized by the bodies “until further notice.” The move effectively bars Russia from competing in the qualifying playoff for the 2022 men’s World Cup in March.

“Football is fully united here and in full solidarity with all the people affected in Ukraine,” FIFA and UEFA said in a joint statement. “Both presidents hope that the situation in Ukraine will improve significantly and rapidly so that football can again be a vector for unity and peace amongst people.”

Some companies are also pledging support to people in Ukraine who have been displaced from their homes amid the conflict. Outdoor footwear company Keen announced on Tuesday that it has made a commitment of 50,000 euros, which converts to $55,669.75 at the current exchange rate, in both cash and products to support Ukrainian refugees at the Poland, Slovakia and Hungary borders.

“In the face of a humanitarian crisis like the one unfolding in Ukraine, Keen stands in solidarity with its people. Our thoughts are with the people and families whose lives are affected by the crisis in Ukraine,” the company said via its Keen Europe handle on Instagram.

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