We told you yesterday that the UEFA Champions League Final would be moved from St. Petersburg, Russia in response to that nations invasion of Ukraine. As that invasion escalates we continue to keep the Ukrainian people as well as the Russians who have been taken unwillingly into this conflict in our prayers.
UEFA has announced today that the new location for the Champions League Final with be the Stade de France in Paris. The last time this stadium hosted a Champions League Final was 2006 where FC Barcelona defeated Arsenal 2-1. We will all remember that campaign as the one where Villarreal were so painfully close to being in that match.
Now, perhaps, the stars are aligning for us to get to the Stade de France at long last 16 years later. It is, obviously, a long shot given everyone else in the field, and we have to get past Juventus first and foremost,
In other football news related to Russia,
the last Russian team was eliminated by Real Betis yesterday from this year’s European competition, so there will be no further decisions to be made in terms of matches to be played there*. Schalke 04 parted ways with Russian energy company Gazprom as a sponsor yesterday, and Gazprom also sponsors the Champions League so it will be interesting to see if UEFA follows suit. FIFA president Gianni Infantino was pressed yesterday about whether he had any regrets about staging a World Cup in Russia and receiving a medal from Vladimir Putin, and he was as evasive as you’d probably expect.
UPDATE: UEFA has cut ties with Gazprom as a sponsor.
*This article originally stated that all Russian teams had been eliminated from European competitions but as Allen pointed out in the comments, this is not the case. Spartak Moscow did not play in the last knockout round but got a bye to the second knockout round via winning their group in the Europa League.