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After Russia was stripped of the match following its invasion of Ukraine, the 2022 Champions League final will be held in Paris.

Following an emergency meeting of Executive Committee of UEFA on Friday, the governing body announced that this year’s Champions League Final will no longer be held in St. Petersburg. The 2022 final was originally slated to take place in Krestovsky Stadium in Moscow, which is sponsored by Russian state-owned company Gazprom, but will now be played at the Stade de France in Paris on May 28.

“UEFA wishes to express its gratitude and admiration to President of the French Republic Emmanuel Macron for his personal support and dedication to having European club football’s most prestigious game moved to France at a moment of unprecedented turmoil,” UEFA said in a statement on Friday.

“UEFA will completely support multi-stakeholder initiatives to secure the provision of rescue for football players and their families in Ukraine who are facing extreme human suffering, destruction, and displacement, in collaboration with the French government.” Russian and Ukrainian clubs still competing in UEFA competitions, including the Champions League, Europa League, and Conference League, will have to play home matches at neutral grounds “until further notice,” according to UEFA.

“UEFA shares the international community’s great concern for the security situation unfolding in Europe and strongly condemns the ongoing Russian military incursion in Ukraine,” UEFA said in a statement on Thursday. “We remain resolute in our solidarity with the football community in Ukraine and stand ready to extend our hand to the Ukrainian people,” UEFA said.

“As the governing body of European football, we are working tirelessly to develop and promote football according to common European values such as peace and respect for human rights, in the spirit of the Olympic Charter.”

What was the reaction to Uefa decision?

Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick, whose team is in the last 16 of the Champions League, said the decision was “inevitable” and “appropriate.” Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel agreed, having guided the team controlled by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich to the Champions League title last season.

“Unfortunately, I believe that is the worst excuse to relocate. This is not ideal news, but it was unavoidable. There are more important things in life than football “remarked the German. Mauricio Pochettino, the coach of Paris St-Germain, expressed his regret for the situation, but added that the final being held in the French capital would bring “additional impetus” in the club’s effort to become European champions for the first time.

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