Russia-Ukraine Crisis: Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the 2022 Champions League final has been moved from St Petersberg, Russia, and will be held in Paris.
On the 28th of May, the final of Europe’s most prestigious club championship was scheduled to take place in St Petersburg.
Uefa said the match would not be conducted at the Gazprom Arena after a meeting on Friday.
Instead, it will be hosted at the Stade de France in Paris, as decided by the European football regulatory body.
“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.” UEFA said in a statement Friday.
“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.”
For the first time since 2006, the final, which will take place on May 28, will be held at the Stade de France in Paris. According to the New York Times, UEFA head Aleksander Ceferin was in Paris on Thursday to finalize the swap with French President Emmanuel Macron.
UEFA has also decided to shift games in its official tournaments from Russia and Ukraine, including Spartak Moscow’s next Europa League home fixture.
Why was the Champions League Final Moved?
After President Vladimir Putin announced a military action, Russian forces invaded Ukraine early Thursday, striking cities and bases. As tensions in the region continued to rise, the move came despite warnings from around the world of dire implications.
Gazprom, a state-owned Russian energy business, sponsors the stadium in St. Petersburg. FC Schalke 04, a German club, removed Gazprom as a sponsor off its jerseys on Thursday.
Sweden, Poland, and the Czech Republic stated their unwillingness to play any prospective World Cup qualifying playoff matches in Moscow on Thursday, and demanded that FIFA and UEFA relocate them.
The UEFA decision comes as the worldwide sporting community considers upcoming events in Russia. The ATP Tour confirmed that the Moscow CH 80 tournament, which was set to take place at the end of February, has been postponed. Given that the Russian Grand Prix is scheduled for late September, Formula One is “closely observing the very fluid developments.”