Outrage as UEFA revealed that this year’s Champions League Final will no longer take place in St. Petersburg following an extraordinary meeting of the governing body’s Executive Committee on Friday.
According to CNN report, the 2022 final was scheduled to be held at Krestovsky Stadium, which is sponsored by Russian state-owned company Gazprom, but will now be moved to the Stade de France in Paris to be played on the original date of May 28.
“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,” a statement from UEFA said on 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.”
UEFA added that Russian and Ukrainian clubs still competing in UEFA competitions — the Champions League, the Europa League and the Conference League — will have to play home matches at neutral venues “until further notice”.
On Thursday, UEFA released a statement saying it “strongly condemns” Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine: “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.”