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Saturday 24 September 2022
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Ukraine crisis: Champions League football final moves to Paris

UEFA took the decision to strip Russia of the match

The Champions League final has been moved from St Petersburg to Paris’ Stade de France Pic: Motortion Films / Shutterstock

This year’s Champions League football final is being moved from Saint Petersburg’s Gazprom Arena to Paris’ Stade de France, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Read more: Cyberattack risk, protests, military aid: Six France-Ukraine updates

Read more: Macron: France strongly condemns Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

The match will take place on its scheduled date of May 28 at 21:00.

This comes as a result of an extraordinary UEFA meeting held this morning (February 25), and Franceinfo reports that the organisation’s president Aleksander Čeferin phoned President Emmanuel Macron directly to discuss the plans. 

It is thought that the decision to host the final in Paris aims in part to recognise France’s support for UEFA at the time of the Super League crisis, when certain clubs planned to break away and form their own separate league.

UEFA expressed “thanks and appreciation” to President 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,” it added.

A spokesperson for the Kremlin commented that it was a “shame” that the final had been moved, adding that “Saint Petersburg would have been able to provide the perfect conditions for such a football event.” 

This is the third year in a row that the Champions League final has been moved, having been transferred from Istanbul to Lisbon in 2020 and Istanbul to Porto in 2021 due to Covid.

The Stade de France hosted seven Euros matches in 2016, including the final, where France lost 0-1 against Portugal.

UEFA has said that it will also be relocating any other games it organises that were set to be played in Russia or Ukraine “until further notice.” 

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