The National Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine (UA: PBC) has decided not to broadcast matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup to be played in Russia this summer, UA:PBC Chairman Zurab Alasania said in an interview published in the official newspaper Uriadovy Kurier.

“We have decided not to show it [the 2018 FIFA World Cup]. This is a serious deal that costs millions. The broadcasting rights were bought before 2013. This is a difficult decision. Can the PBC show the world championship in Moscow? No,” he said.

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Companies operating in the Ukrainian TV market that had agreements on parallel broadcasts also started to refuse to show matches after learning of the PBC’s decision, he said.

Ukrainian Youth and Sports Minister Ihor Zhdanov had called on Ukrainian football fans not to travel to Russia to attend the games.

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The Ukraine Football Federation officially confirmed on February 1 that it would not accredit Ukrainian journalists to cover the tournament. A number of Ukrainian journalists received accreditation directly from FIFA.

The Ukrainian Football Federation also waived its quota of tickets for World Cup matches.

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