UEFA Champions League Final Moved To Paris From St. Petersburg

The Champions League final in May will be moved to Paris from St. Petersburg because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, European football’s governing body, UEFA, announced on February 25.

The widely expected decision was made during a hastily arranged executive committee meeting less than 36 hours after Russian forces entered Ukraine.

“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 said in a statement.

“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.”

The Kremlin said the decision was a “shame.”

The meeting also decided that Russian and Ukrainian clubs and national teams in UEFA competitions will have to play at neutral venues until further notice.

The 80,000-capacity Stade de France will instead host the May 28 final, UEFA said.

It is the third year in a row that a relocation at short notice has been required after two coronavirus disrupted seasons saw the Portuguese cities of Lisbon and Porto step in.

Paris has hosted five previous finals of Europe’s elite competition, previously known as the European Cup. Parc des Princes stadium was the final venue for the maiden edition of the tournament in 1956 as well as the 1975 and 1981 finals, while the 2000 and 2006 deciders were held in the Stade de France.

Based on reporting by AP and dpa
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