The 2022-23
Champions League final is likely to be moved out of Saint Petersburg amid
mounting fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine. UEFA said it is “closely
monitoring the situation” and “any decision would be made in due course if

Tensions reached new heights on Monday as Moscow ordered troops into two separatist-controlled
in eastern Ukraine, hours after recognizing them as ‘independent’

A number of
countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom and others, have
President Vladimir Putin’s move and have introduced sanctions against

With the
crisis escalating, UEFA is unlikely to host the summit clash – scheduled to be played
at the Gazprom Arena in Saint Petersburg on May 28 – in Russia, according to a
report in the BBC. The stadium is named after the state-owned energy giants that has sponsored the Champions League for over a decade. 

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Gazprom is also embedded in the decision-making at UEFA, with Alexander Dyukov, the chief executive of an oil subsidiary company, sitting on UEFA’s ruling executive committee.

Speaking at
the House of Commons on Tuesday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said
there was “no chance of holding football tournaments in a Russia that invades
sovereign countries”.

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“He (Putin) is going to end up with … a Russia that is more isolated, a Russia that has pariah status,” Johnson said. 

UEFA is considering alternate venues for the showpiece event, with the Wembley Stadium in London most likely to be ruled out as the League Two and Championship play-off finals are to be hosted over that weekend. 

But London Mayor Sadiq Khan said other venues in the city should be considered and called for “a comprehensive package of sanctions against Russia”. 

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The Youth Leage last-16 tie between Dynamo Kyiv and Sporting Lisbon, scheduled to be held on March 2, has been rescheduled for March 9. 

UEFA might also reschedule other fixtures, with Russian side Zenit St Petersburg set to play the second leg of their Europa League last-32 tie against Real Betis on February 25.