Saint Petersburg has been stripped of the Champions League final in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
UEFA confirmed European club football’s showpiece occasion on Saturday, May 28 will be moved to Paris from the Gazprom Arena in the Russian city after an emergency meeting of its executive committee was convened this morning.
Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered the full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Thursday with troops attacking the country from the north, east and south, inflicting enormous damage to military installations and civilian casualties.
Four Premier League clubs remain in the competition at the last-16 stage with Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City taking leads into next month’s second leg ties and Manchester United level with Atletico Madrid.
It was reported on Thursday that West Ham’s owners would be interested in staging the final at their 62,500-capacity home.
Wembley – which holds 90,000 spectators – was an option but the stadium is set to hold the Championship and League Two play-off finals on the same weekend.
The national stadium is also set to host the ‘Finalissima’ between Italy and Argentina – the reigning champions of Europe and South America respectively – on June 1.
The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – capacity 62,850 – or West Ham’s home have no such concerns with scheduling but France’s capital was selected as the new venue on Friday.
The news comes with Russian troops set to arrive in Kyiv today and fighting already in the outskirts of the city, an official said.