May 24, 2024

UEFA likely to strip Russia of Champions League final after Ukraine invasion

2 min read

Champions League final was scheduled to take place in St Petersburg on May 28 but could be moved away from Russia.

In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, UEFA appears to be increasingly inclined to move this year’s Champions League final.

The European club football tournament is set to take place in St Petersburg on May 28, but the governing body is under increasing pressure to find a new host city following overnight developments.

Russian military trucks were seen crossing the border into eastern Ukraine in footage published early Tuesday morning.

Following President Vladimir Putin’s announcement that Moscow will recognize the rebel-held territories of Donetsk and Luhansk, Russian military have been ordered to execute “peacekeeping” duties in the rebel-held areas.

The move has been condemned by several world leaders, vowing to place immediate sanctions on Russia as a result.

The continent’s governing body for football has also been encouraged to act quickly in the run-up to the final in May. The consensus thinks it should no longer be hosted on Russian soil.

UEFA has been monitoring developments along the Ukraine-Russia border in recent weeks, but had not yet devised a backup plan for the game in St Petersburg as of Tuesday morning. This is expected to change in the near future.

Champions League final alternative venues

Wembley Stadium had been mentioned as a possible final host venue.

The inability of UEFA to adjust the May 28 date – when England’s national stadium will host the League Two playoff final on the same day – looks to have ruled it out.

Istanbul may be offered the opportunity to host the game. Because to Covid, Porto was chosen to host the Champions League final last year.

According to the BBC, UEFA is in talks with Dynamo Kiev and Sporting Lisbon about their Youth League last-16 clash, which is set to take place on March 2 in Kiev.

Zenit St Petersburg is the only Russian or Ukrainian club still competing in UEFA this season.

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