From Paris with love – UEFA moves Champions League final from Russia amid conflict

The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) has moved the 2021/22 UEFA Men’s Champions League finals from Gazprom Arena to Stade de France amid the Russia and Ukraine conflict.

The UEFA Executive Committee made the decision to relocate the continent’s most prestigious competition finals from Russia to France following the grave escalation of the security situation in Europe.

However, the change in venue did not affect the time as it maintains Saturday May 28, at 21:00 CET (WAT) as initially scheduled.

Meanwhile, UEFA expressed gratitude to French 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.

“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 football body added.

However, this will be the third time the venue of the Champions League finals will be moved.

In 2020, the final was relocated from Istanbul to Lisbon because of the coronavirus pandemic. And, last year, the game was supposed to be held in Istanbul, but it was shifted to Portugal, this time to Porto, due to the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the UEFA Executive Committee has determined that until further notice, Russian and Ukrainian clubs and national teams competing in UEFA competitions must play their home matches at neutral locations.

Spartak Moscow is the only Russian team still competing in European club competition this season, having reached the final 16 of the Europa League.”

However, based on the change in venue, the committee has also resolved to stay on standby to hold additional extraordinary meetings, as needed, on a regular ongoing basis to examine the legal and factual position and make future decisions.

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