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Uefa Move Champions League Final From St Petersburg After Russian Invasion

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Uefa Move Champions League Final From St Petersburg After Russian Invasion

UEFA has announced that the Champions League final will no longer be held in St Petersburg after Russia launched an invasion of Ukraine this week.

Instead, the event will take place in Paris' Stade de France.

The final had been due to take place in the Russian city on May 28.

The news was announced this morning after an extraordinary meeting yesterday.

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In a statement, UEFA said that it stands in 'solidarity with the football community in Ukraine' and condemns Russia's invasion of the country.

They have also announced that all Ukrainian and Russia teams will play at neutral venues 'until further notice'.

The Gazprom Arena will no longer host the May 28 showpiece. Credit: Alamy
The Gazprom Arena will no longer host the May 28 showpiece. Credit: Alamy

Ukraine had asked for all Russian clubs to be removed from European competition, as well as the national team from international fixtures.

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Russia are due to play in the World Cup 2022 play-offs next month.

UEFA's full statement reads: "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.

"At today’s meeting, 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. 

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The Champions League final will now take place somewhere else. Credit: Alamy
The Champions League final will now take place somewhere else. Credit: Alamy

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."

Vladimir Putin ordered troops into Ukraine sovereign territory in the early hours of the morning on 24 February on a ‘military operation’ aimed at ‘demilitarising and denazifying’ Ukraine.

The move has been widely condemned by the international community, with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, US President Joe Biden, and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaking out against the Russian incursion.

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Johnson tweeted: “I am appalled by the horrific events in Ukraine and I have spoken to President Zelenskyy to discuss next steps.

“President Putin has chosen a path of bloodshed and destruction by launching this unprovoked attack on Ukraine.

“The UK and our allies will respond decisively.”

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Biden said: “Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction this attack will bring, and the United States and its Allies and partners will respond in a united and decisive way,

“The world will hold Russia accountable.”

Stoltenberg, speaking at a press conference, said: “I strongly condemn Russia’s reckless and unprovoked attack on Ukraine, which puts at risk countless civilian lives.

“Once again, despite our repeated warnings and tireless efforts to engage in diplomacy, Russia has chosen the path of aggression against a sovereign and independent country.”

He added: “This is a grave breach of international law, and a serious threat to Euro-Atlantic security.

“I call on Russia to cease its military action immediately and respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

“NATO Allies will meet to address the consequences of Russia’s aggressive actions.

“We stand with the people of Ukraine at this terrible time. NATO will do all it takes to protect and defend all Allies.”

The invasion continues today, with troops moving towards the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.

If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Sport, Football, World News, Politics, Vladimir Putin, Russia

Tom Wood
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