UEFA held a crisis meeting on Friday in the middle of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine
UEFA has ordered Russian and Ukrainian football teams to play home matches in neutral arenas in all competitions organized by the European football body “until further notice”.
After calling a crisis meeting on Friday, UEFA said its executive committee had decided on matches played by the Russian and Ukrainian national teams in its tournaments, as well as clubs from the two countries.
“At today’s meeting, the UEFA Executive Committee also decided that Russian and Ukrainian clubs and national teams competing in UEFA competitions will be required to play their home matches in neutral arenas for the time being,” it reads. a statement.
“UEFA’s Executive Committee further decided to be on standby to convene further extraordinary meetings, regularly, on an ongoing basis where necessary, to reassess the legal and factual situation as it develops and to take further decisions if necessary.”
At the same meeting, UEFA confirmed that it is moving the Champions League final 2022 from the Russian city of St. Petersburg. Petersburg to the Stade de France in Paris.
The move comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a special military operation in Donbass and Ukraine.
Putin said the move was to defend the people of the newly recognized republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, and to “demilitarize” and “de-Nazify” Ukraine.
Ukraine and its Western allies have condemned the move, and the fallout continues to spread to the sport.
Many will take UEFA’s actions as an indication that Russia’s 2022 FIFA World Cup play-off match against Poland, which is scheduled for March, will also be moved from Moscow.
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Should Russia emerge from that match, they would face the winner of the match between Sweden and the Czech Republic later that month, also in a match planned for the Russian capital.
The Polish, Czech and Swedish football associations made a joint statement on Thursday in which they called on FIFA to play the matches in a neutral place.