The UEFA Champions League 2021-22 final will be held at the 80,000-seat Stade de France in Paris on May 28 after St. Petersburg was stripped of following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the European body announced on Friday. The decision was taken by UEFA’s executive committee. (More Football News)
“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,” UEFA said in a statement.
“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.”
The meeting also decided that Russian and Ukrainian clubs and national teams in UEFA competitions will have to play at neutral venues until further notice. The Stade de France last hosted the Champions League final 16 years ago, when Barcelona beat Arsenal in 2006 final.
The 2021/22 #UCLfinal will move 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.
Full statement ⬇️
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) February 25, 2022
The 68,000-capacity St. Petersburg stadium was originally picked in 2019 to host the final in 2021. That was postponed by one year in the fallout of disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The stadium is named for Russian state-owned energy firm Gazprom, which is also a top-tier UEFA sponsor of the Champions League and European Championship.
UEFA executive committee member Alexander Dyukov is the CEO of a Gazprom subsidiary. The move comes as Russian bombs and troops pounded Ukraine during the invasion’s first full day, and world leaders on Friday began to fine-tune a response meant to punish the Russian economy and its leaders, including President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle.
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