UEFA is moving the Champions League final from St. Petersburg after Russia invaded Ukraine

The governing body of UEFA, the governing body of European football, will meet on Friday to discuss the geopolitical crisis between Russia and Ukraine. The Champions League final is likely to be moved from Russia.

The UCL final is set to be played in St Petersburg, where the stadium is sponsored by Russia’s state-owned energy giant Gazprom. (AFP photo)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Champions League final is set to take place on June 28th
  • St. Petersburg has the rights to host the final of the Champions League
  • UEFA Executive Committee meets on Friday to discuss the geopolitical crisis

After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, St. Petersburg is in danger of losing the right to host the marquee football game, the Champions League final.

The Executive Committee of UEFA, the governing body of European football, will meet on Friday to discuss the geopolitical crisis. According to a report by the Associated Press news agency, UEFA should take a call at the earliest.

Officials are likely to confirm the decision to move the Champions League final, scheduled for May 28, from Russia after the meeting, according to an AP source, who spoke on conditions of anonymity.

UEFA confirmed on Thursday that there will be a meeting on Friday.

“Following the development of the situation between Russia and Ukraine over the past 24 hours, the UEFA President has decided to convene an extraordinary meeting of the Executive Committee… to assess the situation and take all necessary decisions,” UEFA said in a statement.

The British government and fan groups had asked UEFA to stop playing the game in St. Petersburg, where the stadium is sponsored by Russia’s state-owned energy giant Gazprom.

“On this tragic day our thoughts are with everyone in Ukraine, our friends, colleagues, members and loved ones,” the group Fans Supporters Europe tweeted on Thursday. “Given the unfolding events, we expect an imminent announcement from UEFA regarding the postponement of the Champions League final.”

The Ukrainian Premier League suspended play on Thursday due to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s decision to impose martial law. The league was on a two-month winter break and was due to resume on Friday. There was no scheduled date for a reboot.

The International Paralympic Committee said it is in talks with sports officials in Ukraine and Russia as their teams prepare to travel to China for the start of the Paralympic Games next week.

Russia’s name, flag and anthem are already banned from the March 4-13 Paralympics in Beijing because of previous doping disputes. His team is set to compete as RPC, short for Russian Paralympic Committee.

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