UEFA confirm destination of next Champions League final amid Russia-Ukraine conflict

UEFA confirm destination of next Champions League final amid Russia-Ukraine conflict

UEFA have confirmed on Friday morning that this season’s Champions League final will be moved from Saint Petersburg to Paris in a move that has come about due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict.

With tensions growing as the situation continues to unfold in eastern Europe, the sporting world is having to adapt to events that are scheduled to take place in Vladimir Putin’s country.

The football isn’t the only sport to have been affected by this like scenario, with Formula1 also affected by the conflict due to the Russian Grand Prix being scheduled to go ahead as planned on September 23 currently amid boycott calls.

As a result of ever-growing tension between Russia and the West, UEFA had called an emergency meeting on Friday morning and the outcome is already clear.

UEFA’s statement at the time read: “As the governing body of European football, UEFA is working tirelessly to develop and promote football according to common European values such as peace and respect for human rights, in the spirit of the Olympic Charter.

“We remain resolute in our solidarity with the football community in Ukraine and stand ready to extend our hand to the Ukrainian people. We are dealing with this situation with the utmost seriousness and urgency.

“Decisions will be taken by the UEFA Executive Committee and announced tomorrow.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson had already stated that they should have “no chance of holding football tournaments.”

Fast forward a day from when the statement was released and the French capital has been confirmed as the final’s host city, decided despite initial claims that an English stadium was at the forefront for the switch.

The new statement read: ‘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.’

It was initially expected that an English stadium would be selected as part of this quick change that has been required to do circumstances in Eastern Europe.

However, with Wembley Stadium hosting one of the play off finals on the same day, the only other viable options presented on the table were the London Stadium (West Ham) and the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Therefore France has been decided upon as the best viable destination meaning it’s now back to back seasons whereby a Champions League final has had to be re-arranged.

The 2020 final was set to be held at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, Turkey but was moved to the Estadio da Luz in Lisbon, Portugal.

Chelsea of course won that final and with Thomas Tuchel’s history with Paris Saint-Germain well known, he will be relishing a chance to return to France and win another trophy to rub in salt to the people who sacked him early last season.

The Stade de France is the expected venue for this sudden change meaning Tuchel will not be able to go back to the Parc de Princes.

The Blues are still in the running to defend their crown like Real Madrid did a few years ago but still face competition this season from the likes of Liverpool, Man City and Man United, who all aim to dethrone the current European and World Champions.

One of the English teams in the form of United are not just going to stop at being satisfied with this new decision, as it’s been reported that Richard Arnold and co are are expected to cut ties with sponsors Aeroflot, who were yesterday added to the list of companies being sanctioned by the UK government.

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