Russia to lose $78m over move of Champions League final to Paris

Moscow’s actions have also had repercussions in the world of culture and sports. The latest events generated as a result of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine have to do with the large number of sports organizations that announced cutting ties with Russia or canceling the planned events.

This was the case with the Union of European Football Associations (Uefa), the governing body of European football, which said the final of the Champions League tournament on May 28 will be moved from Saint Petersburg to Paris. “following the serious escalation of the security situation in Europe.”

With this change of venue, Saint Petersburg, the second largest city in Russia and the birthplace of Vladimir Putin, would stop receiving nearly US$78 million, an important amount that would be set aside for hosting the most important match of the year at the level of clubs.

And it is that, the Executive Committee of the sports organization, convened urgently yesterday after the Russian military incursion into Ukrainian territory and “the serious escalation of the security situation in Europe”, communicated this measure after strongly condemning the action of the army from russian

In this sense, Dmitri Peskov, spokesman for the Kremlin, regretted the body’s decision, assuring that “it is a pity”, and added that the city was in a position to offer comfortable conditions for the conduct of the contest.

It is noteworthy that some US$800 million were invested in the construction of the St. Petersburg stadium since 2007, and its construction was carried out with doubts and uncertainty about where both the funds and the labor in charge of raising the stadium came from. Zenith temple.

Thus, Uefa, whose executive committee is also made up of the president of the Russian Federation, Alexander Dyukov, and that of the Ukrainian Federation, Andrii Pavelko, decided that the Russian and Ukrainian clubs and national teams that compete in competitions must play their home games at neutral venues until further notice.

On the other hand, in a statement, Uefa expressed its gratitude and appreciation to the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, for his personal support and his commitment so that the most prestigious match in European club football moves to France in a moment. unprecedented crisis.

“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 are facing horrific human suffering, destruction and displacement,” he added. .

The change of venue for the Uefa Champions League final is the third to be decided in a row, after those of previous seasons due to the pandemic.

Indeed, the International Olympic Committee on Friday urged all sports organizations to move or cancel events in Russia and Belarus. This is how Formula 1 also canceled one of its planned events: the Russian Grand Prix, which was expected to take place on September 23.

Formula 1 said on Friday it will not race in Russia this season, saying it is “impossible” to do so following the invasion of neighboring Ukraine. The Russian Grand Prix, which was added to the calendar in 2014, was scheduled for September 25 in the Sochi Olympic Park.

“We are watching the developments in Ukraine with sadness and disturbance, and we hope for a speedy and peaceful resolution of the current situation,” the organization said in a statement.

“On Thursday night Formula 1, the FIA ​​and the teams discussed the position of our sport, and the conclusion is that it is impossible to hold the Russian Grand Prix under the current circumstances,” he added.

In this regard, four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel said on Thursday that he would not participate in the Russian Grand Prix if it were held, while world champion Max Verstappen maintained that racing in a country at war “is not correct”. In addition, the American team Haas ran in the Barcelona tests on Friday in an all-white livery, having dropped the branding of its main sponsor, the Russian fertilizer company Uralkali.

Following this scenario, with the cancellation of the Russian Grand Prix, the F1 calendar was reduced to 22 races. However, organizers may choose to fill Russia’s vacant spot after having held races elsewhere for the past two seasons during the coronavirus pandemic.

In fact, the Russian race was scheduled to move next year to a new track on the outskirts of St. Petersburg from its current Sochi Olympic Park venue. Russian President Vladimir Putin has attended the race in the past, even handing out trophies on the podium.

It is noteworthy that, in tennis, the ATP Challenger tournament scheduled for Moscow on February 28 was also canceled.