After invading Ukraine on Thursday, UEFA could decide as early as Friday to no longer hold this year’s the Champions League final in St. Petersburg.
After Russia invaded Ukraine, UEFA plans to strip St. Petersburg of its right to host this season’s Champions League final on May 28.
The Associated Press reported, citing unnamed sources, that the decision to strip the 68,000-seat Gazprom Arena of the final could be made official on Friday at an extraordinary meeting of the UEFA executive committee.
UEFA, the official governing body of European soccer, issued a public rebuke of Russia hours after the invasion.
“UEFA shares the international community’s significant concern for the security situation developing in Europe and strongly condemns the ongoing Russian military invasion in Ukraine,” UEFA said in a statement.
UEFA is taking Champions League final from Russia after invasion of Ukraine
🚨 The UEFA Champions League final set to be moved from Saint Petersburg, Russia as statement released: “UEFA strongly condemns the ongoing Russian military invasion in Ukraine.”
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) February 24, 2022
Sky Sports reported the Ukrainian FA wants the 2023 UEFA Super Cup final to be moved from Kazan in Russia and have issued a request that FIFA and UEFA ban Russian teams from their competitions.
Earlier in the day, the Polish, Czech and Swedish FA’s wrote to FIFA saying games should not be played in Russia, citing the “military escalation” and “lower safety.”
FIFA President Gianni Infantino called for a “rapid cessation” of the Ukraine conflict on Thursday and also confirmed that Russia’s World Cup 2022 playoff game against Poland next month is being reviewed as “a matter of urgency.”
Should UEFA go through with its decision, it would be the third straight year that the UCL final was moved. The original site of the final was moved in both 2020 and ’21 because of the pandemic.