Russia is set to be stripped of this season’s Champions League Final after president Vladimir Putin ordered troops into two rebel-held regions in eastern Ukraine, after recognizing them as independent states.
The UEFA’s final match is scheduled to be held at the 68,000-capacity Gazprom Arena in St. Petersburg on May 28, but European football’s governing body is now discussing a change in location following a day of huge political pressure.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and London Mayor Sadiq Khan have both called for Russia to be denied the right to host a major final.
UEFA says they are “constantly and closely monitoring the situation” and that “any decision would be made in due course if necessary”. Internal talks have been held over the prospect of moving the final with London’s Wembley Stadium among the venues being considered, though a decision does not have to be made until a few weeks before the match.
A number of MPs have called for the final to be taken away from Russia following their actions and Mr. Johnson told the House of Commons yesterday that there was “no chance of holding football tournaments in a Russia that invades sovereign countries”.
Mayor of London Khan said: “London is the sporting capital of the world and stands ready to host the final. It is clear staging it in Russia is now untenable.”
Wembley is currently set to host the League Two and Championship play-off finals on May 28 and May 29 respectively.