UEFA to strip Russia of Champions League final

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UEFA to strip Russia of Champions League final

UEFA is planning on stripping Russia of the Champions League final and moving it from St Petersburg to someplace else due to the escalating situation in Ukraine.

The final was due to take place at the 68,000-capacity Gazprom Arena in St Petersburg on May 28 but UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has called an “extraordinary meeting” of the Executive Committee for Friday to confirm the decision to move the match.

It is unclear whether the governing body will confirm a new venue for the final.

European football’s governing body issued a statement on Thursday, which read: “UEFA shares the international community’s significant concern for the security situation developing in Europe and strongly condemns the ongoing Russian military invasion in Ukraine.

“We are dealing with this situation with the utmost seriousness and urgency. Decisions will be taken by the UEFA Executive Committee and announced tomorrow.”

FIFA president Gianni Infantino called for a “rapid cessation” of the Ukraine conflict on Thursday while confirming that Russia’s World Cup 2022 play-off game against Poland next month is being reviewed as “a matter of urgency.”

The British government had been the most vocal in calling for the game to be taken away from Russia, with officials actively lobbying the footballing authorities. Football federations from Poland, the Czech Republic, and Sweden have written to FIFA calling for Russia to be banned from hosting playoff games for the Qatar World Cup.

Poland is due to meet Russia in Moscow next month, and if Russia wins, it will face a final eliminator against the winner of the game between the Czechs and Sweden also in Russia.

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