Friday. 24.05.2024
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

UEFA slammed over plan to keep Champions League final in Russia

Russian champions Zenit St Petersburg are also in European action; they visit Real Betis of Spain in their Europa League play-off second leg on Thursday and the game is scheduled to go ahead

FILED - 04 November 2019, Russia, St. Petersburg: A general view of a ball on the pitch during a training session ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group G soccer match between Zenit St. Petersburg and RB Leipzig at the Gazprom-Arena. UEFA has been heavily criticized on social media after reiterating that it has no current plans to move May's Champions League final away from the Russian city of St Petersburg. Photo: Jan Woitas/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa.
A general view of a ball on the pitch during a training session at the Gazprom-Arena, in St Petersburg (Russia). Photo: Jan Woitas/dpa.

European football's governing body UEFA has been heavily criticized on social media after reiterating that it has no current plans to move May's Champions League final away from the Russian city of St Petersburg.

Russia has recognized two separatist regions in Ukraine and built up troops, with a full invasion feared by the West.

UEFA sources said the body is holding another meeting on Tuesday to review the situation but earlier put out a similar statement to one issued at the weekend.

“UEFA is constantly and closely monitoring the situation. At present, there are no plans to change the venue,” a statement said referring to the May 28 match, which is the showpiece game of the European club football calendar.

The statement brought a furious response on Twitter, including from British member of parliament Tom Tugendhat, who chairs the Foreign Affairs Select Committee in the House of Commons.

"This is a shameful decision. UEFA should not be providing cover to a violent dictatorship," he wrote.

Russian champions to Spain

UEFA has moved the last two Champions League finals at relatively short notice due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Russian champions Zenit St Petersburg are also in European action. They visit Real Betis of Spain in their Europa League play-off second leg on Thursday and the game is scheduled to go ahead.

Russia held the 2018 football World Cup and is due to host a Formula One Grand Prix in Sochi on September 25.

Western governments are rushing out sanctions against Russia.

UEFA slammed over plan to keep Champions League final in Russia