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Russia World Cup blackout in Ukraine as TV shuns broadcasts and press passes refused

February 13 – Who says sport and politics don’t mix? With Ukrainian journalists having already been refused accreditation by their national fa and having to approach FIFA directly, Ukraine’s public broadcaster has now decided not to show any of the games in Russia.

Since the Russian annexation of the Crimean peninsula in March 2014 and the subsequent support of Ukrainian separatists by Moscow, diplomatic relations between the two countries have been at an all-time low.

Ukraine has failed to qualify but its fans will now have to find other channels to watch matches. The CEO of the National Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine Zurab Alasania was quoted as saying:  “We refuse to broadcast it”

Ukrainian Youth and Sports Minister Ihor Zhdanov has also urged Ukrainian fans not to visit Russia for the tournament.

“From the point of view of our national interests, we have done everything to ensure that the World Cup did not take place in Russia, but our possibilities are limited. We call on our fans not to go there,” Zhdanov told the Priamy television channel.

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