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UEFA Moves Champions League Final From Russia to Paris

UEFA officially voted Friday to move the 2022 Champions League Final from St. Petersburg, Russia to Paris in the midst of Russia’s escalating military conflict with Ukraine. 

The final, which will take place May 28, will be played at the Stade de France in the French capital for the first time since 2006. The New York Times reported that UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin was in Paris on Thursday to meet with French president Emmanuel Macron to finalize the switch. 

UEFA also determined that it would relocate games in its official competitions from Russia and Ukraine, which includes Spartak Moscow's next home match in the Europa League. 

“UEFA wishes to express its thanks and appreciation to 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,” UEFA said in a statement Friday.

“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.”

Russian military invaded Ukraine early Thursday, attacking cities and bases after President Vladimir Putin announced he was launching a military operation. The move came despite warnings of consequences from the around the world as tensions continued to escalate in the region. 

The stadium in St. Petersburg is sponsored by Gazprom, a state-owned Russian energy company. On Thursday, German club FC Schalke 04 removed Gazprom as the sponsor from its jerseys.

On Thursday, Sweden, Poland and the Czech Republic jointly announced their refusal to play any upcoming World Cup qualifying playoff matches in Moscow and called on FIFA and UEFA to move them from Russia. 

The decision from UEFA comes as the international sports community makes decisions about upcoming events in Russia. The ATP Tour announced it has postponed the Moscow CH 80 tournament that was scheduled to take place at the end of February. Meanwhile, Formula One “is closely watching the very fluid developments” given that the Russian Grand Prix is slated for late September

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