The UEFA Champions League final has been moved from St. Petersburg to Paris, UEFA has confirmed, while games involving teams from Russia and Ukraine will be moved to neutral venues.
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Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, an extraordinary meeting was called by UEFA on Friday where it was agreed that the Gazprom Arena in St. Petersburg, Russia would not host the 2021-22 UEFA Champions League final.
It was agreed that the final would switch to the Stade de France in Paris on May 28, 2022.
Below is the statement in full from UEFA about the change:
Paris to host 2021-22 Champions League final
“The UEFA Executive Committee today held an extraordinary meeting following the grave escalation of the security situation in Europe. The UEFA Executive Committee decided to relocate the final of the 2021/22 UEFA Men’s Champions League from Saint Petersburg to Stade de France in Saint-Denis. The game will be played as initially scheduled on Saturday 28 May at 21:00 CET.
“UEFA wishes to express its thanks and appreciation to French Republic President Emmanuel Macron for his personal support and commitment to have European club football’s most prestigious game moved to France at a time of unparalleled crisis. Together with the French government, UEFA will fully support multi-stakeholder efforts to ensure the provision of rescue for football players and their families in Ukraine who face dire human suffering, destruction and displacement.”
Teams from Russia, Ukraine to play in neutral venues
UEFA also confirmed that all Russian and Ukrainian teams currently playing in European competitions will play games in neutral venues. National teams will also have to play in neutral venues.
Spartak Moscow are the only Russian team who remain in the European competition and face RB Leipzig in the last 16 of the UEFA Europa League. All Ukrainian men’s sides have been knocked out of Europe’s three club competitions.
“The UEFA Executive Committee also decided that Russian and Ukrainian clubs and national teams competing in UEFA competitions will be required to play their home matches at neutral venues until further notice. The UEFA Executive Committee further determined to remain on standby to convene further extraordinary meetings, on a regular ongoing basis where required, to reassess the legal and factual situation as it evolves and adopt further decisions as necessary.”
Both Russia and Ukraine are involved in UEFA’s playoffs in 2022 World Cup qualification.
Russia is due to host Poland in their playoff semifinal next month, with the winner hosting the winner of Czech Republic vs Sweden for a place at the World Cup in Qatar. Previously Sweden, Czech Republic and Poland have all signed a document refusing to play on Russian soil in the playoffs.
Ukraine travel to Scotland for their semifinal next month, with the winner then due to travel to Wales or Austria for a place at the World Cup.