By Ogundele Olanrewaju
The 2022 Champions League final will be played in Paris after Russia was stripped of the match following the nation’s invasion of Ukraine.
European football’s governing body made the announcement after an extraordinary meeting of its executive committee on Friday. The game was scheduled to take place at the Gazprom Arena in Russia’s second-largest city on 28 May.
Uefa said on Thursday that it strongly condemned the invasion and remained resolute in its “solidarity with the football community in Ukraine”.
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 21:00 CET.
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. 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.
At today’s meeting, the UEFA Executive Committee also decided that Russian and Ukrainian clubs and national teams competing in UEFA competitions will be required to play their home matches at neutral venues until further notice.
The UEFA Executive Committee further determined to remain on standby to convene further extraordinary meetings, on a regular ongoing basis where required, to reassess the legal and factual situation as it evolves and adopt further decisions as necessary.