The governing body of European football, UEFA has announced the shifting of the final of the Champions League out of St. Petersburg, Russia due to the ongoing Russian attack on Ukraine. The final will now be played at Stade de France in Saint-Denis, France.
The 2021/22 Men’s Champions League final was scheduled to be played in Saint Petersburg, but recently UEFA personally contacted the French President, Emmanuel Macron to see if the game could be moved to Paris. It will now be played at the Stade de France, which is located just outside of Paris. The date, May 28, remains unchanged.
The decision was made at a meeting of the Executive Committee on Friday. UEFA thanked the French President in a statement for agreeing to host the final. It also stated that Russian and Ukrainian clubs will be required to play home matches at neutral venues until further notice.
In 2019, the 68,000-capacity St. Petersburg stadium was chosen to host the 2021 Champions League final. However, this was postponed due to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Champions League final has not been played at the Stade de France in 16 years. Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), one of the league’s favourites, may benefit from the move. PSG supporters will be hoping that their team can go all the way on home soil.
The governing body said in a statement, “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.”