UEFA moves UCL final to Paris following Russian invasion of Ukraine

Paris will host the UCL final in May after St. Petersburg was stripped of the honor after Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine.

Paris will host this year’s Champions League final after UEFA moved the game out of St. Petersburg when Russia launched an invasion earlier this week into Ukraine.

The announcement, made Friday during a special session of the UEFA executive board, means that the Stade de France will again get a chance to host one of the biggest games on the soccer calendar on May 28.

In a statement, Europe’s soccer governing body said, “The UEFA Executive Committee today held an extraordinary meeting following the grave escalation of the security situation in Europe. The UEFA Executive Committee decided to relocate the final of the 2021-22 UEFA Men’s Champions League from Saint Petersburg to Stade de France in Saint-Denis. The game will be played as initially scheduled on Saturday, 28 May at 9 p.m. CET [3 p.m. ET].”

In addition, UEFA said it “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.”

This won’t be the first time the Stade de France hosted the UCL final

The Stade de France, built for the 1998 World Cup, last hosted the UCL final in 2006, where Barcelona defeated Arsenal to become European champions.

Gazprom Arena had previously been named as the venue to host the final. The stadium had been named to host the 2021 final, but the game was moved to the Estádio do Dragao in Porto, Portugal, because of the pandemic.

Paris Saint-Germain, who plays its home games at the nearby Parcs de Princes, is still alive in the tournament and could benefit from home support should they reach the final.

Alexander Dyukov, president of Russia’s FA, said in a statement: “We believe that the decision to move the venue of the Champions League final was dictated by political reasons. The [Russian FA] has always adhered to the principle of ‘sport is out of politics,’ and thus cannot support this decision.”

Source: FanSided

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