Russia Finally Stripped of Opportunity to Host the UEFA Champions League Final

Russia has finally been stripped of hosting the 2022 UEFA Champions League final in the wake of her recent crisis with Ukraine.

The final of Europe’s most prestigious club competition was due to be played at the Gazprom Arena in St Petersburg on 28 May but will now be played in Stade de France in Paris. instead.

UEFA thanked French President, Emmanuel Macron for “his personal support and commitment” to have the game moved to France at “a time of unparalleled crisis”, adding that “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 is the third year running the venue of the Champions League final has been moved.

In 2020, it was switched from Istanbul to Lisbon because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Turkish city was set to host the game last year instead but it was again moved to Portugal – this time, Porto – because of the pandemic.

Reacting to this new decision by the football body, Russian Football Union (RFU) president Alexander Dyukov, who serves on the UEFA executive committee and is the chief executive of Gazprom subsidiary Gazprom Neft, said he “could not support” the move.

“We believe the decision was dictated by political reasons. The RFU has always adhered to the principle of ‘sport is out of politics’,” he said.

Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick, whose side are in the Champions League last 16, said it was “inevitable” and the “right” decision.

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