The 2022 Champions League final was brought from St. Petersburg to France. The match will take place at the Stade de France in the suburbs of Paris. This was reported on the official website of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).
“At today’s meeting, the UEFA Executive Committee additionally decided that Russian and Ukrainian clubs and national teams engaging in UEFA competitions will be needed to play their domestic matches at neutral stadiums until in addition to notice,” the statement said.
As The New York Times clarifies on Friday, February 25, this condition currently applies to one club match – the game of Spartak Moscow in the Europa League.
Champions League final threatened by Ukraine crisis
The soccer game of the Champions League final was to be held on May 28 at the Gazprom Arena stadium in St. Petersburg. On February 24, the Associated Press, citing a source, reported on UEFA’s plans to postpone it due to Russia conducting a special military operation in the Donbass and recognizing the independence of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR). Prior to this, a group of MEPs had asked UEFA to postpone the match.
Russian President Vladimir Putin , in a special televised address on February 24, said that a special operation would be carried out in the Donbass in order to protect the civilian population. The Russian leader emphasised that Russia was left no choice, and its actions are not associated with infringing on the interests of Ukraine, but with saving itself from “those who took Ukraine hostage.”
Press Secretary of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Peskov clarified that the special operation has two goals – the demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine. According to him, both of these aspects pose a threat to the Russian state and people.
Prior to that, on February 21, the Russian leader signed a decree recognizing the independence of the DNR and LNR. This was done against the background of a sharp escalation of the situation in the Donbass and intensified shelling of the positions of the people’s republics by the armed forces of Ukraine.
Since 2014, the Ukrainian authorities have been carrying out a military operation against the inhabitants of Donbass, who declined to peer the results of the coup d’état and the newly created authority in Ukraine. At the same time, Kiev blames Moscow for the common situation. Russia has frequetly stated that it’s not a party to the intra-Ukrainian conflict.