War forces UEFA to transfer Champions League final from Russia to France

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War forces UEFA to transfer Champions League final from Russia to France

Paris’ Stade de France will host the Champions League final on May 28, not St Petersburg anymore, UEFA announced. The city lost the right to organize the match as a response by the European entity to the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian army.

The French stadium has already hosted the Champions League final in 2006, when Barcelona defeated Arsenal 2-1.

It was also defined that home matches of Ukrainian and Russian teams, as well as matches of the teams in Uefa tournaments, must be played on neutral ground.

The Kremlin criticized UEFA’s decision to change the venue. “It is a pity that this decision was taken,” said Russian government spokesman Dmitry Peskov. “St. Petersburg had provided ideal conditions for the celebration,” he added.

On the other hand, the UK government praised the measure. “We cannot allow Russia to exploit sport and culture on the world stage to legitimize this premeditated and unnecessary attack against a sovereign democratic state,” said Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries.

Sponsor

Petersburg stadium became known as Gazprom after a sponsorship deal with the Russian state energy company, which also sponsors the Champions League and the UEFA Euro 2024 national team competition.

Schalke 04, one of Germany’s most traditional clubs and the country’s biggest fan, has announced that it will no longer display the name of Gazprom, its sponsor, on its uniform.

The decision was posted on the team’s official Twitter account, hours after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

With a market value of US$ 73.5 billion (R$ 377.4 billion, at the current price), Gazprom is the oldest sponsor of Schalke 04, has been with the club since 2006 and pays around US$ 13 million annually to print your name on the shirt.

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