UEFA decided this Friday (25.02.2022) that Saint Petersburg will not host the next Champions League final on May 28 after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the match will be played in Paris at the Stade de France in Saint -Denis, at 9:00 p.m.
The body’s Executive Committee, convened urgently yesterday after the Russian military incursion into Ukrainian territory and “the serious escalation of the security situation in Europe”, announced this measure after strongly condemning the action of the Russian army.
The Executive, which includes, among others, the president of the Russian Federation, Alexander Dyukov, and that of the Ukraine, Andrii Pavelko, also decided that the Russian and Ukrainian clubs and national teams that compete in UEFA competitions must play their home games at neutral venues until further notice.
In a statement, UEFA expressed its thanks and appreciation to the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, for his personal support and commitment to see the most prestigious match in European club football move to France at a time of unprecedented crisis. .
Olympique de Marseille vs. Manchester City: Champions League match at the Stade de France. (Archive).
“Together with the French government, UEFA will fully support multi-stakeholder efforts to ensure rescue provision for football players and their families in Ukraine, who face horrific human suffering, destruction and displacement,” he added. .
The change of venue for the Champions League final is the third that UEFA decides in a row, after those of previous seasons due to the pandemic.
In the 2019-20 season, in which the title was going to be defined in Istanbul, the matches were played in a single match from the quarterfinals in Portugal and the final was played at Luz with victory for Bayern Munich over PSG.
And in the 2020-21 campaign, in which the final was going to be played in the Turkish city again, the title was played by Chelsea, who was champion, and Manchester City, at the Do Dragao stadium in Porto.
After this second change and with the Gazprom Arena stadium already chosen for this year’s final, UEFA decided to award the venue for the 2023 final to the Atatürk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, and for the Turkish city to host the draws for the phase of Champions League, Europa League and Conference League groups both this season and next, 2022-23.
The final of the “Champions” 2023, which was originally going to be played in Munich (Germany), was moved to 2025 and the London stadium of Wembley will be the scene of the 2024 edition.
CP (EFE, AFP)