Bayern Munich and Poland striker Robert Lewandowski ended his sponsorship deal with Chinese technology company Huawei, after their reported continued support of the Russian army technologically to defend against Cyber attacks.
Lewandowski had signed on as the global ambassador for Huawei, after agreeing to a partnership in November 2015. The cancellation of the sponsoring deal is estimated to cost him around 5 million euros. He had even signed a three-year deal with Huawei.
“Huawei CBG Polska regrets the end of the partnership with Robert Lewandowski. We appreciate our long-term cooperation and wish him every success in the future,” the company said in a statement.
Lewandowski’s agent Tomasz Zawislak also revealed to Interia Sport that the decision was the footballer’s rather than the Chinese technology company.
“It is true. Today we decided to end the marketing cooperation between Robert Lewandowski and the Huawei brand,” he said.
“Therefore, the implementation of all promotional services has been suspended on our part.”
When Zawislak was asked if Lewandowski’s decision was influenced by Huawei, with them being one of the few companies still operating in Russia, he said: “We do not have full information on this, so I will stop at what we have already stated.”
Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered his troops to invade neighbouring Ukraine – a sovereign state – last month, triggering a bloody war in eastern Europe.
Lewandowski had in fact been a vocal critic of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and celebrated the cancelation of their World Cup play-off with Russia, which was to held place later in March. The match was scrapped with Russia being banned by FIFA and UEFA.
“It is the right decision!” Lewandowski had tweeted when Poland announced their boycott of the game.
“I can’t imagine playing a match with the Russian National Team in a situation when armed aggression in Ukraine continues.
“Russian footballers and fans are not responsible for this, but we can’t pretend that nothing is happening.”
Russia were also been stripped of hosting right to this season’s UEFA Champions League final, which was to be played in Zenit St Petersburg ad now will instead be held in Paris.