UEFA likely to move Champions League final amid Russia-Ukraine crisis

Uefa is almost certain to switch this season’s Champions League final away from St Petersburg amid the Ukraine-Russia crisis.

With the fears of invasion being planned by Russia on rebel-held regions of eastern Ukraine, Former UK sports minister Tracey Crouch has told BBC Sport that the final should be held at a different venue at the earliest. There are several countries, including the United Kingdom that is sanctioning the move as it could prove to be a hassle in the sports industry, as St.Petersburg is a popular attraction for sports events.

Russia has also scheduled to host Poland in the World Cup play-off to face the Czech Republic or Sweden if they win but Ukraine is also set to perform in the playoffs to face their opponents in Qatar. But the invasion was not the only cause of concern, the champions league final venue was finalised to be played in Portugal because of the COVID-19 situation and protocols established then.

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The governing body of European Football is considering the geopolitical situation in and around the continent for the remaining UEFA fixtures including the Youth League last-16 tie which is scheduled to be played in the Ukraine capital this year on 2nd March. Added to that is the Russian club Zenit St Petersburg which is still in the Europa League for a schedule of play-off tie with Real Betis in Spain on Thursday.

Even with the ban on politicians and officials in the 2018 World Cup hosted by Russia, no severe changes or influence was made in connection to the possible departure from the invasion, therefore, making it extremely difficult for Uefa to reach a compatible stand on the current venue issues.