UEFA set to move Champions League final from Russia

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UEFA are set to move the UEFA Champions League final in May from Saint Petersburg, according to the Associated Press, after Russia began its invasion of Ukraine.

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Previous reports stated that European soccer’s governing body were assessing whether or not to move the final which is due to take place at the Gazprom Arena on May 28, 2022.

The report from Rob Harris from the Associated Press states that UEFA have agreed to move the final and an announcement will be made on Friday.

With conflict between Russia and Ukraine starting, it left UEFA with a decision to make about the Champions League final.

What is the latest?

Here is the statement UEFA released as they ‘condemn the ongoing Russian military invasion’ in Ukraine:

“UEFA shares the international community’s significant concern for the security situation developing in Europe and strongly condemns the ongoing Russian military invasion in Ukraine.

“As the governing body of European football, UEFA is working tirelessly to develop and promote football according to common European values such as peace and respect for human rights, in the spirit of the Olympic Charter. We remain resolute in our solidarity with the football community in Ukraine and stand ready to extend our hand to the Ukrainian people.

“We are dealing with this situation with the utmost seriousness and urgency. Decisions will be taken by the UEFA Executive Committee and announced tomorrow.”

What could happen?

Here is more information from our partners in the UK at Sky Sports:

“UEFA is considering moving this season’s Champions League final away from St Petersburg. The governing body has previously been able to move prestigious events at short notice, including the previous two Champions League finals.

“The 2021 final – which saw Chelsea defeat Manchester City – was also set to be played in Saint Petersburg, but was eventually played in Porto due to Covid travel restrictions. Covid also saw the 2020 final moved from Istanbul to Lisbon, where Bayern Munich beat Paris Saint-Germain.”

“Wembley would be a possible alternative venue if Saint Petersburg is stripped of hosting rights, although the English Football League play-offs are due to be played there on the same weekend.”

UEFA had previously said they are “constantly and closely monitoring the situation. At present, there are no plans to change the venue.”

Calls for Russia to be stripped of showpiece final grow

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called for UEFA to strip Russia of being able to host the showpiece event.

“It is inconceivable that major international football tournaments can take place in Russia after the invasion of a sovereign country,” Johnson said.

UEFA have moved the last few Champions League finals at short notice due to COVID-19 and it will be fairly easy for them to switch this final too.

It now seems that the 2021-22 UEFA Champions League final will not be played in Saint Petersburg.