UEFA is examining the prospect of moving the 2022 Champions League final from St. Petersburg after Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has ordered troops into the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in the Donbas, eastern Ukraine, after recognising them as independent states.
The match is presently set to take place at the 68,000-capacity Krestovsky Stadium on May 28. Although UEFA has not made an official decision on swapping out St. Petersburg as the host location, the situation is being closely monitored at the time.
The British gov’t has used its voice in the debate, expressing opposition to the final going ahead in Saint Petersburg.
UEFA is considering moving this season’s #UCL away from St Petersburg in response to the threat of conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) February 22, 2022
“I think it inconceivable that major international football tournaments can take place in Russia after the invasion of a sovereign country,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Tuesday.
London mayor Sadiq Khan told LBC “London stands ready to host the Champions League final.”
He added: “Hosting the Champions League final is a privilege and I think the impression we will give if Uefa continues to have the final in St Petersburg is rewarding this sort of aggressive action from Putin.”
The Principality Stadium in Cardiff could host the UEFA Champions League final rather than Russia, Andrew RT Davies said.https://t.co/4AeoUOGSp5
— Nation.Cymru (@NationCymru) February 22, 2022
Andrew RT Davies, who leads the Welsh Conservatives in the Senedd, backed calls to strip St Petersburg of the major final.
He wrote on Twitter: “Further sanctions may well be needed, and I add my voice to calls for UEFA to strip Russia of the privilege of hosting the Champions League final.
“I appreciate that lots of planning goes into this event, but there are plenty of venues experienced in hosting it, including the Principality Stadium, so changing the venue should be relatively straightforward.”
The then Millennium Stadium in Cardiff previously hosted the Champions League final in 2017.
Hosting the Champions League final could produce a financial boost of more than £60m for the selected city.
UEFA has recent experience of changing the venues of Champions League finals as the last two editions were relocated to Portugal due to the sanitary restrictions.