European football’s governing body has taken decisive action following a Russian invasion of Ukraine
UEFA has announced that the 2022 Champions League final will be moved to Stade de France in Paris following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, with the Gazprom Arena in Saint Petersburg stripped of hosting duties.
Political tension in Eastern Europe has forced decisive action from the continent’s governing body, with an extraordinary meeting held on Thursday chaired by association president Aleksander Ceferin.
It was determined during those discussions that Russia should no longer be allowed to stage a showpiece event, with an eagerly-anticipated contest scheduled to take place on May 28 now set to be held in the French capital.
A statement from UEFA reads: “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.
“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.
“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.”