UEFA to move Champions League final from Russia due to Ukraine crisis
Ukraine says Russia has launched a “full-scale invasion” with explosions heard in major cities including Kyiv and Kharkiv; Champions League final on May 28 was due to be held at Zenit St Petersburg’s Gazprom Arena; Ukraine wants FIFA and UEFA to ban Russian teams from their competitions
Thursday 24 February 2022 21:57, UK
UEFA will move the Champions League final from Russian city St Petersburg on Friday due to the escalating situation in Ukraine.
The final was due to take place at the 68,000-capacity Gazprom Arena in St Petersburg on May 28 but UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has called an “extraordinary meeting” of the Executive Committee for Friday to confirm the decision to move the match.
It is unclear whether the governing body will confirm a new venue for the final.
The Ukrainian FA also want the 2023 UEFA Super Cup final to be moved from Kazan in Russia and have asked FIFA and UEFA to ban Russian teams from their competitions.
Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed an attack on Ukraine with explosions heard in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv while blasts were also reported in the cities of Odessa and Kharkiv
European football’s governing body issued a statement on Thursday, which read: “UEFA shares the international community’s significant concern for the security situation developing in Europe and strongly condemns the ongoing Russian military invasion in Ukraine.
“As the governing body of European football, UEFA is working tirelessly to develop and promote football according to common European values such as peace and respect for human rights, in the spirit of the Olympic Charter. We remain resolute in our solidarity with the football community in Ukraine and stand ready to extend our hand to the Ukrainian people.
“We are dealing with this situation with the utmost seriousness and urgency. Decisions will be taken by the UEFA Executive Committee and announced tomorrow.”
FIFA president Gianni Infantino called for a “rapid cessation” of the Ukraine conflict on Thursday while confirming that Russia’s World Cup 2022 play-off game against Poland next month is being reviewed as “a matter of urgency.”