Paris replaces St Petersburg as Champions League final host

Paris, 25 Feb (AP): Russia was stripped of hosting the Champions League final by UEFA on Friday with St Petersburg replaced by Paris after Russias invasion of Ukraine.

The mens final will still be held on May 28 but now at the 80000seat Stade de France after the decision by UEFAs executive committee.

uefa champions leagueUEFA wishes to express its thanks and appreciation to French Republic President Emmanuel Macron for his personal support and commitment to have European club footballs most prestigious game moved to France at a time of unparalleled crisis European footballs governing body said in a statement Together with the French government.

UEFA will fully support multistakeholder 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 the 2006 final.

The 68000capacity 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 COVID19 pandemic.

The stadium is named for Russian stateowned energy firm Gazprom which is also a toptier 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 invasions first full day and world leaders on Friday began to finetune a response meant to punish the Russian economy and its leaders including President Vladimir Putins inner circle.

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