The British government is leading calls for this year’s Champions League final to be moved out of Russia to punish the country for its intervention in Ukraine.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Russia should not be allowed to host the men’s football event, which is scheduled to be held in St. Petersburg on May 28.
“I think it inconceivable that major international football tournaments can take place in Russia after…the invasion of a sovereign country,” Johnson told lawmakers on February 22.
“It’s absolutely vital in this critical moment that President Putin understands that what he is doing is going to be a disaster for Russia,” Johnson told the House of Commons.
“He is going to end up with…a Russia that is more isolated, a Russia that has pariah status, no chance of holding football tournaments in a Russia that invades sovereign countries.”
Nadine Dorries, Britain’s minister for sport, said that Britain would raise the issue with football authorities.
“I have serious concerns about the sporting events due to be held in Russia, such as the Champions League Final, and will discuss with the relevant governing bodies,” Dorries said in a tweet.
“We won’t allow President Putin to exploit events on the world stage to legitimize his illegal invasion of Ukraine.”
European soccer’s governing body, UEFA, said it was closely monitoring the situation.
“In regards to 2022 UEFA Champions League final in St Petersburg, UEFA is constantly and closely monitoring the situation and any decision would be made in due course if necessary,” UEFA told Reuters in a statement.