UEFA have called an extraordinary meeting which is likely to result in the Champions League final being moved away from the Gazprom Arena in Saint Petersburg.
The executive committee, led by President Aleksander Ceferin, will meet on Friday morning to discuss Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with the agenda set “to evaluate the situation and take all necessary decisions”.
Overnight, Russian leader Vladimir Putin ordered a “specialised military invasion” of Ukraine, with subsequent attacks launched in the capital city of Kyiv, as well as in Kharkiv and Odessa – an assault that Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba has described as a “full scale invasion”.
Pressure has been mounting over the last few days for UEFA to strip Russia of hosting the Champions League final, which is due to be staged in Saint Petersburg at the end of May, and a statement has confirmed that a meeting will be held on Friday morning.
“Following the evolution of the situation between Russia and Ukraine in the last 24 hours, the UEFA president has decided to call an extraordinary meeting of the executive committee …. in order to evaluate the situation and take all necessary decisions,” UEFA said.
West Ham’s London Stadium and Tottenham Hotspur’s self-named ground have been mooted as alternative destinations for the final, though a decision on where the game will be staged is likely to follow at a later date.
Elsewhere, FIFA are facing calls to kick Russia out of the World Cup qualifying play-offs; they are due to take on Poland at the end of March.
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