July 17, 2024

Russia responds to UEFA after stripping of Champions League final 

2 min read

Russia has voiced its disappointment after UEFA denied it the privilege to host the UEFA Champions League final in 2022.

On May 28, the European final was to be held at the Gazprom Arena in St Petersburg.

However, as a result of the invasion of Ukraine, Russia will no longer host the showpiece event, and the match will be held at the Stade de France in Paris instead.

Press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation, Dmitry Peskov said: “It’s a pity, of course, that such a decision was made. But [the decision] has been made, so it is accepted.”

Asked whether he considered the decision to be politically motivated, the spokesman replied: “No, I didn’t say that. I just expressed regret.”

In the wake of the worsening crisis in Ukraine, UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin convened a meeting on Friday morning.

In addition to losing the right to host the Champions League final in St Petersburg, it has been ruled that club and national teams competing in European events in Russia and Ukraine would now be compelled to play at neutral venues.

“The UEFA Executive Committee decided to relocate the final of the 2021/22 UEFA Men’s Champions League from Saint Petersburg to the Stade de France in Saint-Denis,” according to a UEFA statement. 

The game will take place on Saturday, May 28th at 21:00 CET, as planned.

“UEFA wishes to express its thanks and appreciation to the 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.”

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