Paris to host this season’s Champions League final instead of St Petersburg following Russia's invasion of Ukraine - with Manchester City, Liverpool. Chelsea & Manchester United still involved

Paris will host this season’s Champions League final after the Russian invasion of Ukraine led to St Petersburg being stripped of its right to stage the match.

By Mark McMahon
Friday, 25th February 2022, 10:21 am

The UEFA executive committee held an emergency meeting this morning to discuss its response to the crisis and has opted to remove the showpiece match from the 68,000-capacity Gazprom Arena in Russia’s second-largest city.

A statement from European football’s governing body read: ‘The UEFA executive committee decided to relocate the final of the 2021-22 UEFA Men’s Champions League from St Petersburg to Stade de France in St Denis.

‘The game will be played as initially scheduled on Saturday May 28 at 2100 CET.

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This season's Champions League final will now be held at the Stade de France in Paris. Picture: FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

‘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.’

St Petersburg staged seven matches at Euro 2020 last summer, a tournament organised by UEFA, including the quarter-final between Spain and Switzerland.

Before that, it had hosted seven matches at the 2018 World Cup finals which were held in Russia.

The UEFA statement added: ‘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.’

The executive committee also decided Russian and Ukrainian clubs and national teams competing in UEFA competitions will be required to play their home matches at neutral venues until further notice.

This is set to affect Spartak Moscow in the Europa League, with the last-16 draw taking place later today, and also Russia and Ukraine in the 2022-23 Nations League which is due to get under way in June.

FIFA has yet to take a decision on what to do about next month’s World Cup play-off matches.

Russia host Poland in a play-off semi-final on March 24 and could then face the winner of the Sweden v Czech Republic semi in Russia for a place in Qatar as things stand.

The federations of Poland, Sweden and the Czech Republic issued a statement on Thursday insisting matches should not be played on Russian territory and demanding “alternative solutions” be found.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino said on Thursday his organisation would look at the matter with “urgency” but said he hoped the situation would be resolved by next month.

Ukraine are due to face Scotland at Hampden Park in a play-off semi-final on March 24, but that match is also in doubt with the Ukrainian league suspended following the invasion.