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MPs question Sports Minister, FA, and Premier League on sanctions for Russian influence in sport

10 March 2022

Sports Minister Nigel Huddlestone will face questions on the current sanctions on Russian individuals involved in British sport and how these will progress over time. The Committee is expected to ask why it took so long to sanction Chelsea Owner Roman Abramovic, despite leaked Home Office reports in 2019 noting his “links to the Russian state”. The session will also look more widely at the role of Russian money in both the ownership and sponsorship of football clubs.

Purpose of the session

MPs are likely to ask whether further cultural sanctions on Russia are planned and if the Government is concerned about investments in UK sport from other nations with poor human rights records such as China and Saudi Arabia. 

The Committee will also hear from disinformation experts on the capacity for British institutions and upcoming legislation to combat Russian mis and dis-information. Ofcom may face questions on the future of regulating RT and Sputnik. The impact of big tech and social media firms on foreign propaganda is also likely to be considered.  

Chair's comment

DCMS Committee Chair Julian Knight MP said: 

“This morning’s announcement that Roman Abramovich has been sanctioned by the Government and emerging details of the likely effect on one of the country’s biggest football clubs illustrates the deep and wide-ranging impact such measures will have on sport in this country. Our session with the Sports Minister and bosses from the FA and Premier League will explore issues around the role of Russian money in our national game and will examine the Government’s approach to financial sanctions targeted at specific individuals and its general policy on sporting sanctions and boycotts. We will also be probing what can be done to counter the growing campaign of disinformation and propaganda emanating from Russia on the war in Ukraine.” 


Tuesday 15 March 2022

from 10.00     

  • Professor Vera Tolz, Sir William Mather Professor of Russian Studies, University of Manchester 
  • Rebecca Skippage, Disinformation Editor, BBC World Service 
  • Kevin Bakhurst, Group Director for Broadcasting and Online Content, Ofcom 
  • Keir Giles, Senior Consulting Fellow, Chatham House

from approximately 11:15  

  • Nigel Huddleston MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Sport, Tourism, Heritage and Civil Society, DCMS

from approximately 12:00 

  • Mark Bullingham, Chief Executive, The Football Association 
  • Helen MacNamara, Chief Policy and Corporate Affairs Officer, Premier League

Further information

Inquiry: PC