Russia has been stripped of hosting the Champions League final by UEFA with St. Petersburg replaced by Paris after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The men’s final will still be held on May 28 but now at the 80,000-seat Stade de France after the decision by UEFA’s executive committee.
A statement confirmed: ‘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 the 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.’
There will now be even more pressure on FIFA to follow suit, with the Czech Republic, Poland, and Sweden releasing a joint statement appealing for their scheduled World Cup qualifying matches in Russia to be moved.
UEFA’s statement also said it will ‘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.’
The Stade de France last hosted the Champions League final 16 years ago, when Barcelona beat Arsenal in the 2006 final.