Uefa moves Champions League final from St Petersburg to Paris

Showpiece event will be held at Stade de France on May 28

The Champions League final will not be played at St Petersburg on May 28. Reuters
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The 2022 Champions League final has been moved out of St Petersburg, Uefa announced on Friday.

At an extraordinary meeting of the Uefa executive committee, the decision was made to shift the May 28 showpiece game out of the 68,000-capacity Gazprom Arena.

The title match will now be played at the 80,000-seat Stade de France in Paris.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine forced European football's governing body to draw up contingency plans.

The governing body also said that the home games of Ukrainian and Russian club and national teams competing in Uefa competitions will be played at neutral venues "until further notice".

A statement from European football's governing body said: "The Uefa executive committee decided to relocate the final of the 2021-22 Men's Champions League from St Petersburg to Stade de France.

"The game will be played as initially scheduled on Saturday, May 28, at 2100 CET.

"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."

Uefa's decision is set to affect Spartak Moscow in the Europa League, with the last-16 draw taking place later on Friday, and also Russia and Ukraine in the 2022-23 Nations League which is due to get under way in June.

Fifa has yet to take a decision on what to do about next month's World Cup play-off matches.

Russia host Poland in a play-off semi-final on March 24 and would then face the winner of the Sweden v Czech Republic semi in Russia for a place in Qatar as things stand.

Uefa had already moved the last two Champions League finals due to the Covid-19 pandemic from Istanbul to Lisbon in 2020, and then again from the Turkish city to Porto last year.

The Champions League final was last staged in Russia in 2008, when Manchester United defeated Chelsea on penalties in Moscow.

There were reports that the final could be held in the UK. However, two major stadiums appeared out of bounds.

Wembley is set to host the Championship play-off final on May 28 while the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is primed to stage rugby league's Challenge Cup final on the same day.

Updated: February 25, 2022, 10:34 AM
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