MOSCOW, May 19. /TASS/. /TASS/. The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) has signed a major sponsorship agreement with Russian energy giant Gazprom, UEFA’s press office announced in a statement on Wednesday.
Europe’s governing body of football said in its statement that the inked deal makes Russia’s Gazprom a general sponsor of two UEFA Euro Cups as well as the 2021 and 2023 UEFA Nations League finals.
"Gazprom, which has enjoyed a fruitful partnership with the UEFA Champions League since 2012, is now building on its successful association with UEFA by signing a further sponsorship agreement to become a UEFA National Team Football sponsor until 2024," the statement from UEFA reads.
"Gazprom will now have partnership rights for UEFA EURO 2020 and UEFA EURO 2024, the European Qualifiers for UEFA EURO 2024, in certain markets and the UEFA Nations League finals in 2021 and 2023," according to the statement.
In line with the deal concluded on Wednesday, Gazprom would also serve as a sponsor of UEFA’s other tournaments, including the UEFA Youth League’s finals starting this year.
"Aside from the UEFA Champions League, Gazprom's renewed three-year agreement as a UEFA club competitions partner will also include sponsorship rights for the UEFA Super Cup, the UEFA Champions League futsal finals and the UEFA Youth League finals from 2021 until 2024," the statement from the UEFA press service reads.
Commenting on the inked contract UEFA’s Marketing Director Guy-Laurent Epstein said: "Gazprom has proved over the years to be one of our most trusted partners and we are delighted to be welcoming them as a UEFA National Team Football sponsor for the first time, while we are equally thrilled they will continue their partnership with the world’s greatest club competition - the UEFA Champions League, for another three years."
"Not only is Gazprom a leader in its field, it also has a long heritage in football and were are looking forward to working even closer together over the coming years, such as through Gazprom’s Football for Friendship programme, which helps give youngsters valuable life skills," Epstein added.
Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said commenting on the deal that: "For many years, Gazprom has been a reliable UEFA partner and an active member of the international football community."
"By supporting the UEFA EURO and other UEFA competitions, we hope we can help to successfully hold these tournaments in such challenging times," Miller added.
UEFA’s postponed 2020 Euro Cup
On March 17, 2020, UEFA announced a decision to postpone the 2020 UEFA Euro Cup for exactly one year as a preventive measure against the ongoing global spread of the novel coronavirus.
The championship was rescheduled to be held between June 11 and July 11, 2021 and Russia’s second largest city of St. Petersburg was among 12 cities in Europe initially-proposed to host the European championship’s matches. Saint Petersburg was granted the right to host three group stage matches and one of the quarterfinals of the 2020 UEFA Euro Cup.
However, on April 23, Saint Petersburg was granted the right to host three additional matches of the UEFA Euro Cup matches after Ireland’s Dublin and Spain’s Bilbao pulled out from the organization of the European football championship’s games citing anti-COVID-19 measures.
A decision to hold the 2020 Euro Cup, which celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2020, in various European countries instead of in one or two hosting countries was made at the UEFA Executive Committee’s meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, on December 6, 2012.
Following the pullout of Bilbao and Dublin from the list of the hosting cities of the championship, the rescheduled 2020 UEFA Euro Cup is now set to be staged in 11 cities, namely in London (England), Munich (Germany), Rome (Italy), Baku (Azerbaijan), Saint Petersburg (Russia), Bucharest (Romania), Amsterdam (The Netherlands), Budapest (Hungary), Glasgow (Scotland), Copenhagen (Denmark) and Seville (Spain).