Champions League

UEFA poised to strip Russia of Champions League final

Toby Cudworth
The Gazprom Arena had been set to stage the Champions League final
The Gazprom Arena had been set to stage the Champions League final / DIMITAR DILKOFF/GettyImages
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UEFA have called an extraordinary meeting which is likely to result in the Champions League final being moved away from the Gazprom Arena in Saint Petersburg.

The executive committee, led by President Aleksander Ceferin, will meet on Friday morning to discuss Russia's invasion of Ukraine, with the agenda set “to evaluate the situation and take all necessary decisions”.

Overnight, Russian leader Vladimir Putin ordered a "specialised military invasion" of Ukraine, with subsequent attacks launched in the capital city of Kyiv, as well as in Kharkiv and Odessa - an assault that Ukraine's foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba has described as a "full scale invasion".

Pressure has been mounting over the last few days for UEFA to strip Russia of hosting the Champions League final, which is due to be staged in Saint Petersburg at the end of May, and a statement has confirmed that a meeting will be held on Friday morning.

“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 .... in order to evaluate the situation and take all necessary decisions,” UEFA said.

BBC Sport and the Associated Press report that the decision has already been made to move the game, with West Ham's London Stadium and Tottenham Hotspur's self-named ground both mooted as alternative destinations.

FIFA are also facing calls to kick Russia out of the World Cup qualifying play-offs that are scheduled to be played at the end of March - Poland are their opponents.

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