GELSENKIRCHEN, Germany (AP) — German soccer club Schalke expressed “great concern” on Tuesday over Moscow’s intervention in Ukraine amid scrutiny of the team’s long-standing sponsorship by Russian state-owned energy giant Gazprom.

“Schalke will monitor further developments, evaluate them and make a strong appeal for peace to protect those affected by the crisis,” the second-division club said in a statement.

Schalke, which was relegated from the Bundesliga last year, has had Gazprom as its main sponsor since 2007.

The team said Gazprom’s German subsidiary has been a “reliable partner” for 15 years while also being a gas supplier to Germany.

“Those responsible for the club are in constant dialogue with the long-standing main sponsor,” the Gelsenkirchen-based club said, stressing that it is “without question that the club is committed to peace and peaceful coexistence.”

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