Russia set to be stripped of Champions League final: London, Munich in frame
UEFA's executive committee is to hold an emergency meeting on Friday morning over the Ukraine-Russia crisis, with the Champions League final among the key points to discuss.
As the Russia-Ukraine crisis continues to escalate, UEFA is now looking into moving the 2022 Champions League final from St Petersburg, with London and Munich the favourites to take over as host of the game on 28 May.
Wanda ruled out as Champions League final venue
The other major option put forward, Atlético Madrid’s Estadio Wanda Metropolitano, has been all but ruled out. The Spanish Football Federation has rejected the idea, given that the final of the Europa League, the continent's other major men’s club competition, is to be played in Spain, at Seville’s Estadio Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán.
UEFA has two further alternatives on its list on top of London and Munich, as its choice may also be affected by the identity of the teams that make it to the latter stages of this year’s Champions League. It therefore appears unlikely that a new final venue will be proposed at this week’s emergency meeting of UEFA’s executive committee.
UEFA exco to meet on Friday morning over Russia-Ukraine crisis
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has called the exco meeting on Friday at 10am CET (4am ET) to discuss the issue, as well as the fate of Russia's 2022 World Cup qualifying play-off semi-final against Poland, which is to be played in Moscow on 24 March. Russia are also due to be the home side if they progress to the final, scheduled for 29 March.
UEFA expected to replace Krestovsky Stadium amid pressure from EU
Sources in Nyon say Ceferin is all but certain to remove St Petersburg's Krestovsky Stadium as the Champions League final venue, amid pressure from the European Union, which has imposed a package of sanctions against Russia over its hostilities towards Ukraine.
Russia on Thursday launched an all-out invasion of Ukraine, a move that followed President Vladimir Putin’s decision on Wednesday to recognise the independence of two separatist-held Ukrainian regions and send troops into the territories.
London’s Wembley Stadium and Munich’s Allianz Arena are UEFA’s first-choice options to replace St Petersburg as neither has been given the Champions League final in 2023 and 2024. Bayern Munich’s home stadium last staged the game in 2012, while the most recent Champions League finals at Wembley came in 2011 and 2013.
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