lifestyleug.com__Stade de France to host 2022 UEFA Champions League final (1)
As a result of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, European soccer's governing body moved the 2022 Champions League final from St Petersburg to Paris, France. PHOTO/AP

UEFA has shifted the 2022 Champions League final from St Petersburg to Paris, France after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, the governing body of European soccer said on Friday.

Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the UEFA Champions League final in 2022 will move to the Stade de France in Paris. The Gazprom Arena in Saint Petersburg will not host the game.

UEFA also announced that Ukrainian and Russian clubs and national teams would play their home games at neutral venues “until further notice”.

Eastern Europe’s political tensions forced UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin to convene an extraordinary meeting on Thursday.

It has been decided that the 2022 Champions League final will be held at the Stade de France in France on May 28.

A Champions League final was last held at the Stade de France in 2006, when Barcelona defeated Arsenal, 2-1.

In the Round of 16, Barcelona had eliminated Chelsea, thanks in large part to an 18-year-old Lionel Messi’s embellished tackle that earned him a red card against Asier Del Horno in the first leg.

A statement from UEFA

A statement from UEFA reads: “The UEFA Executive Committee today held an extraordinary meeting following the grave escalation of the security situation in Europe.”

“The UEFA Executive Committee decided to relocate the final of the 2021/22 UEFA Men’s Champions League from Saint Petersburg to Stade de France in Saint-Denis. The game will be played as initially scheduled on Saturday 28 May at 21:00 CET.”

“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.”

“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.”

“At today’s meeting, the committee also decided that 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.”