Premier League 'wholeheartedly' rejects Russia's actions as it shows support of Ukraine

Fans show their support for the Ukraine during the Emirates FA Cup fifth round match at Peterborough. Credit: PA Images

The Premier League has "wholeheartedly" rejected Russia's actions and says it will be showing support for the people of Ukraine in the wake of the country's invasion.

In what it calls "a show of solidarity for Ukraine" teams playing in all matches from Saturday 5 to Monday 7 March will demonstrate their "visible support" for the country.

It follows, the organisation says, "the numerous ways in which clubs have already demonstrated their support".

All 20 club captains will wear special armbands in Ukrainian colours, while fans are encourage to join players, managers, match officials and club staff in "a moment of reflection and solidarity" before kick-off.

Big screens at stadiums will also show "Football Stands Together" against the backdrop of the blue and yellow colours of the Ukrainian flag.

The words will also be shown on LED perimeter boards during matches.

In a statement it said: "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."

It added that its message of solidarity will also be visible to fans around the world across Premier League digital channels, with logos and profiles changed to represent the colours of the Ukrainian flag.

The LED board shows support for the Ukraine during the Premier League match at Turf Moor, Burnley. Credit: PA Images

The move comes as Everton suspend commercial ties with Alisher Usmanov's companies, saying they are "shocked and saddened by the appalling events unfolding in Ukraine".

The Russian billionaire, who is founder of private Russian holding company USM, had his assets frozen as part of sanctions imposed by the European Union on 28 February.

Everton owner Farhad Moshiri is chairman of the board of directors at USM Holdings, which has sponsored Everton's training ground since agreeing an initial five-year deal in 2017.

It also has an option on naming rights for the Toffees' new stadium - a deal worth £30 million to the club.

Branding is set to be removed from Goodison Park and the Finch Farm training base after the Premier League club confirmed the immediate suspension of agreements with the three companies.

An Everton statement read: "Everyone at Everton remains shocked and saddened by the appalling events unfolding in Ukraine.

"This tragic situation must end as soon as possible, and any further loss of life must be avoided.

"The players, coaching staff and everyone working at Everton is providing full support to our player Vitalii Mykolenko and his family and will continue to do so.

"The club can confirm that it has suspended with immediate effect all commercial sponsorship arrangements with the Russian companies USM, Megafon and Yota."