UEFA could change Champions League final venue

Champions League final

Due to geopolitical tensions in Russia, UEFA could change the Champions League final venue.

The Champions League Final is scheduled to take place in St Petersburg on 29th May. However, due to the recent crisis in Ukraine, Russia might be boycotted as the host for the premier event in football.

According to US estimates, Russia has deployed 150,000 troops along the Ukrainian border in recent months at the behest of President Vladimir Putin.

The situation worsened on February 22, when Putin announced that he had approved Luhansk and Donetsk as independent states and deployed soldiers in two rebel areas.

Consequently, Russia was hit by a series of sanctions imposed by the United States, Britain and the European Union (EU). Prime Minister Boris Johnson also publicly expressed concerns in the UK parliament that St. Petersburg is being allowed to host the Champions League final.

However, Alexey Sorokin, chairman of the St. Petersburg Local Organizing Committee, claimed that the game would go as planned. UEFA has also said that it is ‘monitoring the situation’ and it will develop an emergency response plan as needed.

And it remains to be seen if venues would even be shifted. The loss of hosting is severe, as the Champions League final is said to be worth more than £60 million for the host city.

What are the other possible Champions League final venues?

The new venue must be a UEFA Category 4 stadium. Four English sides; Chelsea, LiverpoolManchester City & Manchester United remain in the competition, and Wembley is being floated as an option.

However, Wembley won’t be considered as one of the stadiums as a possible alternative for hosting the finals. As it has already been booked by the EFL to host league play-offs. Additionally, Wembley has been given the right to host the 2024 Champions League final. The behaviour of English fans during the Euro 2020 final won’t help the matter either.

The possible venues, if UEFA indeed changes the host city would be; Rome, Munich, Paris, Amsterdam and Barcelona. Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and West Ham’s London Stadiums are options as well. UEFA will likely decide on the venue, once the finalists are determined.

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