The Champions League final is expected to be moved from Saint Petersburg following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with a UEFA announcement expected as early as Friday.
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This season’s showcase event was scheduled to take place in the Russian city of Saint Petersburg on May 28 but that currently looks highly unlikely following recent news.
And multiple sources have announced that the final will be moved, with an announcement expected as early as Friday morning.
UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin has called an extraordinary meeting and it is believed that contingency plans are being drawn up about where the match will be held.
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Alexander Demianchuk / TASS)
“Following the evolution 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 on Friday 25 February at 1000 CET (0900 GMT), to assess the situation and make all necessary decisions,” a UEFA statement confirmed on Thursday.
“Further communication will be made after the UEFA executive committee meeting.”
UEFA previously wanted not to change the venue of the Champions League final having done so in the previous two seasons due to the Covid pandemic.
The 2020 final was set to be held at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, Turkey but was moved to the Estadio da Luz in Lisbon, Portugal.
And last season’s final was once again moved from Turkey to Portugal, as the Estadio do Dragao in Porto hosted Chelsea’s victory over City of Manchester.
Saint Petersburg’s stadium is sponsored by Gazprom, a Russian majority state energy company and one of the biggest sponsors of the Champions League.
UEFA’s deal with Gazprom is said to be worth £33m per season. The Russian company is also one of the official global sponsors of Euro 2024.
It’s unclear where this season’s final will take place, although several UK stadiums are unlikely to be operational on May 28.
Wembley is set to host the Championship play-off final, while Tottenham’s stadium will host the rugby league’s Challenge Cup final.
AFP via Getty Images)
West Ham’s London Stadium already exists and is accustomed to hosting the major events that hosted the London Olympics a decade ago.
“We have a great history of hosting world-class events from Major League Baseball to sold-out concerts and of course Premier League matches,” London Stadium chief executive Graham Gilmore told The Telegraph.
“We’re always delighted to hear from event organisers and have a clear track record of the stadium and London hosting the biggest events with excellence.”
Football Supporters Europe (FSE), an independent fan-led organization, has asked UEFA to issue an “imminent” statement about the Champions League final.
“On this tragic day, our thoughts are with everyone in Ukraine, their friends, colleagues, members and loved ones,” the FSE official said. Twitter written account.
“Given the events unfolding, we expect an imminent announcement from UEFA regarding the removal of the Champions League final from St Petersburg.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/uefa-move-champions-league-final-26318988 UEFA eliminates Russia in Champions League final after Ukraine invasion