In a show of solidarity with Ukraine, the English Premier League have requested their club captains to wear Ukraine-coloured armbands to this week's football games, followed by a ‘moment of silence’ in the stadiums just before kick-off.
Similar to the gestures of the Black Lives Matter movement, whereby players and coaching staff take a knee seconds before kick-off, tokens of solidarity will be held as a tribute and supportive message to those in Ukraine, publicly condemning Russian forces attempting to invade the Eastern European country.
To an identical end, Premier League clubs have changed their profile picture colour schemes on Instagram and Twitter in support of Ukraine, adapting the colour schemes to represent the Ukrainian flag.
In this way, the Premier League has reiterated its ‘Wholehearted rejection of Russia’s actions’.
Oleksandr Zinchenko, a Ukrainian left back for Manchester City Football Club, has applauded this portrayal of solidarity with his home nation.
“I’m just crying, I promise you. I’m so proud to be Ukrainian, and I will be forever for the rest of my life. I know the people, the mentality of my people from my country. They’re not going to give up,” the City defender declared.
This display of solidarity from the English league has not gone down well with China; the country has pulled Premier League TV coverage consequently. The league’s Chinese broadcast partner, IQIYI Sports, has asserted that Premier League matches will not be shown on television in response to the league's efforts in condemning Russian actions.
Chinese broadcasters have blocked the premier league in the past; an Arsenal fixture was blocked from Chinese television as Arsenal’s club captain at the time, Mesut Ozil, publicly disapproved of China’s treatment of Uyghur Muslims on social media.
The Premier League’s chief executive, Richard Masters has come out all guns blazing, asserting confidence in the Anti-Russian notion.
“I would like the Russian people to see the strength of feeling in the Premier league and in English football this weekend”, Masters asserted earlier this week, disregarding Chinese attempts to block the league’s market in the Asian superpower’s territory.
Written and collated by Aman Farooq