UEFA To hold An emergency meeting over Russian Military Invasion
In light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, UEFA will conduct an emergency meeting on Friday to “assess the situation.” The meeting will take place in Saint Petersburg, which will host the Champions League final in May.
“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 for Friday 25 February at 10:00 CET (0900 GMT), in order to evaluate the situation and take all necessary decisions,” UEFA said in a statement.
This year’s European Club Championship final is slated to take place on May 28 at the Gazprom Arena in Saint Petersburg, which also served as a venue for numerous matches during last year’s European Championship and the 2018 World Cup, both of which were held in Russia.
The governing body of European football has signed a big sponsorship agreement with Gazprom, the Russian state oil company.
If Russia invades Ukraine, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated on Tuesday that the country would have “no chance” of hosting the European Football Championship final.
“A Russia that has pariah status — no chance of holding a football tournament in a Russia that invades sovereign countries,” Johnson said.
As of this week’s deadline, four English Premier League teams are in the running for a place in the last 16 of this season’s Champions League, including Chelsea and Manchester City, who were both featured in last season’s final in Porto, Portugal.
In response to the epidemic, UEFA has already relocated the previous two Champions League finals, first from Istanbul to Lisbon in 2020 and then again from the Turkish capital to Porto the following year.
When the Champions League final was last played in Russia, it took place in Moscow in 2008, when Manchester United won on penalties against Chelsea.
Even though Zenit Saint Petersburg, the reigning Russian champions and current league leaders, is still in UEFA competition this season, the club will face Real Betis in Spain on Thursday in the Europa League.
In a surprise move, the Ukrainian league, which had been scheduled to begin play this weekend after a lengthy winter vacation, has been stopped.