Leroy Merlin has not withdrawn from the Russian market after the country’s armed aggression against Ukraine. The French retail chain has even announced further investments in Russia. Leroy Merlin has been a sponsor of the Polish national football team for years, questions about this cooperation were answered on Tuesday by the captain of the squad – Robert Lewandowski and the spokesperson of the Polish Football Association (PZPN) – Jakub Kwiatkowski.
Polish footballers are preparing for a friendly against Scotland and the final for the promotion to the World Cup. During the press conference on Tuesday, however, an important question was raised about PZPN’s collaboration with Leroy Merlin. The retail chain of the French group Groupe Adeo does not want to withdraw from Russia after the country attacks Ukraine and continues to invest money in the Putin regime, whose army is responsible for numerous crimes against the civilian population on Poland’s eastern border.
Robert Lewandowski was asked about an uncomfortable sponsor and said he did not feel able to talk about the contracts concluded by the PZPN, but he did not want to cooperate with Leroy Merlin.
“I cannot imagine that we, as players of the Polish national team, are doing any service for this company,” the captain of the White Reds admitted.
Lewandowski himself recently terminated a private sponsorship contract with the Chinese company Huawei [Read about it here]. This happened after the company was accused of supporting the Putin regime.
PZPN stresses that it is working with the Polish branch of the company
The spokesperson of the PZPN, Jakub Kwiatkowski, also spoke on the issue of cooperation with the French retail chain.
“We have a contract with Leroy Merlin Poland and it is a Polish company – on behalf of the head office in France, of course. Our relations always took place on the line PZPN – Company in Poland. We had no contact with headquarters in France,” stressed Kwiatkowski.
The PZPN spokesperson also pointed out that the Polish branch of Leroy Merlin had taken numerous measures to support Ukraine. The company donated PLN 4.5 million to support war victims, and 300 employees from Leroy Merlin in Ukraine found work in the Polish subsidiary.
“Leroy Merlin Poland has made some very strong decisions. All business relations with Russia and Belarus were severed. As far as I know, the proceeds from the sale of goods from these countries have been used to support Ukraine,” added Kwiatkowski.
Leroy Merlin has been a sponsor of the Polish national football team for many years. In 2017, both parties renewed their agreement, which is valid until the end of the World Cup in Qatar in December 2022.