Uefa set to move Champions League final in wake of Russia-Ukraine crisis

European football’s governing body is holding talks about moving the 2022 showpiece game away from St Petersburg

Miguel Delaney
Chief Football Writer
Tuesday 22 February 2022 13:13
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<p>European football’s governing body is holding talks about moving the 2022 showpiece game away from St Petersburg  </p>

European football’s governing body is holding talks about moving the 2022 showpiece game away from St Petersburg

Uefa is holding talks about moving the 2022 Champions League final from St Petersburg, although it may wait to see how the knockout stages develop so any venue better suits travelling fans.

The movement of Russian troops into east Ukraine now makes it virtually certain the fixture will be moved, with the governing body having been monitoring the situation since last week.

Even before you get to the many political pressures and real-world consequences of two Uefa member countries being in conflict, there is likely to be the logistical issues of fans being banned by their countries from travelling to Russia.

Uefa now sees a contingency plan as essential, although there aren’t yet any concrete suggestions about venues. It is seen as unlikely, however, that the 2023 final could be brought forward from Istanbul, say, if two English clubs were involved.

Uefa also feels that the situation can be necessarily fast moving, given how the final was moved from the Turkish capital to Porto after the semi-final last year.

The situation could require some diplomatic adaptation for the World Cup, too, given that both Russia and Ukraine are involved in Fifa's play-offs next month.

While they are in separate strands of the draw, with Ukraine travelling to Scotland and Russia hosting Poland, they may have to potentially be kept apart in Qatar if it gets to that.

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