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Russia's state-controlled Vneshtorgbank, one of Russia's largest banks, has decided
Russia's state-controlled Vneshtorgbank, one of Russia's largest banks, has decided not to prolong its sponsorship deal with CSKA Moscow, a bank official told the Sovetski Sport paper on Friday.

"The contract was valid until March 2009. Sorry soccer fans, but we are not going to extend it," the bank's head of public relations, Maxim Lunyeva, told the paper.

"Vneshtorgbank has been forced to make cuts in its sponsorship program during the [financial] crisis and CSKA have become one of the victims," he added.

The CSKA press office declined to comment.

Vneshtorgbank has sponsored CSKA, the 2005 UEFA Cup winners and one of Russia's three representatives in the 2009/10 Champions League, since 2005. The club was previously sponsored by Roman Abramovich's Sibneft oil company. After Sibneft was taken over by Gazprom, the company pulled out of its sponsorship deal with the Moscow club and acquired a controlling stake in Zenit St. Petersburg. Sibneft was later renamed Gazprom Neft.

The economic crisis has seen the postponement of the construction of building projects across Russia, including CSKA's new ground. Spartak Moscow have also announced the postponement of their new stadium.

Both CSKA and Spartak Moscow currently play their home games at Moscow's Luzhniki stadium.


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