UEFA will move Champions League final out of Russia during invasion of Ukraine – source

The Associated Press has learned that UEFA will no longer host this season’s Champions League final in St Petersburg after Russia attacked Ukraine.

An extraordinary meeting of the UEFA Executive Committee will be held on Friday at 09:00 GMT to discuss the crisis and where officials are likely to confirm whether the 2022 Champions League final on Saturday 28 May is still expected to be held at Gazprom Arena in St Petersburg, Russia. , a source told the AP.

“Following the evolution of the situation between Russia and Ukraine over the past 24 hours, the UEFA president has decided to call an extraordinary meeting of the executive committee … to assess the situation and take all necessary decisions,” said UEFA in a statement confirming the meeting.

The European Parliament, the UK government and fan groups have called on UEFA to revoke the decision to play the centerpiece of Europe’s leading club competition in the Russian city of St Petersburg, where the stadium is sponsored by Russian state-owned energy giant Gazprom.

“On this tragic day, our thoughts are with everyone in Ukraine, our friends, colleagues, members and their loved ones,” Fans Supporters Europe tweeted Thursday. Given the current events, we expect an imminent announcement from UEFA on the transfer of the Champions League final. “

The Ukrainian Premier League suspended operations on Thursday due to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s decision to impose martial law. The championship was on a two-month winter break and was due to resume on Friday. It did not provide any expected restart date.

The International Paralympic Committee said it is in talks with sports officials in Ukraine and Russia as their teams prepare to head to China for the start of the Paralympic Games next week.

“The IPC is in dialogue with the Ukrainian and Russian Paralympic Committees ahead of the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games,” the IPC said in an e-mailed statement. “As a politically neutral organization, the IPC’s focus remains on the upcoming Games rather than the current situation.”

Russia’s name, flag and anthem are already banned from the March 4-13 Paralympics in Beijing due to previous doping controversies. His team is expected to compete as the RPC, short for Russian Paralympic Committee.