China on Saturday decided against telecasting any of the Premier League games this weekend after England’s top-flight decided to express solidarity with Ukraine by showing special gestures. With the theme of ‘Football Stands Together,’ the English football league has decided to showcase gestures for Ukraine by announcing that all 20 club captains this weekend will wear armbands in Ukrainian colours and that a ‘moment of reflection and solidarity’ will be observed before kick-off of each game.
Such gestures will be showcased this weekend as Saturday marks the tenth day of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The Russia-Ukraine war began last weekend on Thursday after President Vladimir Putin announced a ‘special military operation’ against the neighbouring country.
Ever since the operation was announced, there has been massive destruction witnessed across the streets of major Ukrainian cities such as Kyiv and Kharkiv, with several citizens losing their lives, and many others forcefully being displaced because of evacuating their homes.
China’s broadcasters will not telecast any Premier League games
With the Premier League set to feature gestures of solidarity with Ukraine across all international broadcast feeds, China’s broadcaster of England’s top flight, IQIYI Sports, has confirmed that the country will not telecast any matches as a result. They are believed to have a three-year deal for exclusive Premier League rights.
This is not the first time that Chinese telecasters have decided to ban the Premier League coverage as a match involving Arsenal in 2019 was not broadcasted after the club’s then captain, Mesut Özil, slammed China’s treatment of Uyghur Muslims in the country.
Premier League’s statement to showcase solidarity with Ukraine
“The Premier League and our clubs wholeheartedly reject Russia’s actions and will be showing support for the people of Ukraine at all matches this weekend. We call for peace and our thoughts are with all those who have been impacted. A show of solidarity for Ukraine will be visible at all Premier League matches from Saturday 5 to Monday 7 March. This follows the numerous ways in which clubs have already demonstrated their support. The 20 club captains will wear special armbands in Ukrainian colours and fans are encouraged to join players, managers, match officials and club staff in a moment of reflection and solidarity before kick-off at each game. Big screens at stadiums will display “Football Stands Together” against the backdrop of the blue and yellow colours of the Ukrainian flag. These words will also be shown on LED perimeter boards during matches.
This message of solidarity will also be visible to fans around the world across Premier League digital channels. Logos and profiles on those platforms will change to represent the colours of the Ukrainian flag, which will also be displayed across match broadcasts both in the UK and overseas.”