What are China doing about Russia? Premier League rights holder will not show games over Ukraine support

The Premier League plans to show support to Ukraine this weekend, but it is set to cost them coverage in China.

Russia’s invasion attempt of Ukraine continues as we approach the two-week mark, with the conflict reportedly causing thousands of deaths so far.

Early last week, Russia began their invasion of Ukraine and the action has been widely condemned around the world, with around a million Ukrainian citizens forced to flee, while hundreds of thousands of men and women have stayed to risk their lives in a bid to defend their country.

The EU, UK, USA and its allies have all slapped huge financial sanctions on Russia in a bid to slow the invasion, while appealing to president Vladimir Putin to end the war.

Meanwhile, sport is also playing its part, and after Russian teams were kicked out of UEFA competitions and Russia were banned from the World Cup, the Premier League are planning to show their support across this weekend.

But that show of support will have an impact on the Premier League’s worldwide coverage.

Premier League coverage issue

The BBC report China’s rights-holders of the Premier League, iQIYI, have refused to show this weekend’s games as a result.

China are a close political ally of Russia’s and this move is a display of that relationship, though the Chinese government have appealed for peace, calling on both sides to reach a solution.

The Premier League plans to hold a minute’s reflection before this weekend’s fixtures, with captains also wearing special armbands, and stadium screens set to display a Ukrainian flag with the phrase ‘Football Stands Together’.

The Premier League are yet to comment on the decision from iQIYI.

What have China said about the war?

China’s assistant foreign minister, Hua Chunying, has said: “The U.S. has been fuelling the flame, fanning up the flame, how do they want to put out the fire?

“China is closely following the development of the situation. What you are seeing today is not what we have wished to see.

“We hope all parties can go back to dialogue and negotiation.”

China’s mediation

China are said to be willing to play mediator between Russia and Ukraine.

Xinhua News Agency have reported that Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi spoke with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba this week.

The report claims Ukraine are open to a ‘negotiated settlement’ and that Kuleba has said that the country ‘stands ready to strengthen communication with the Chinese side and looks forward to China’s mediation in achieving a cease-fire’.

The report claims China’s aim is to change perceptions in the West, hoping to build a reputation of desiring peace.