The ongoing military conflict between Ukraine and Russia has forced UEFA to consider alternative locations for the UEFA Champions League final.

A recent report from ESPN suggests UEFA are actively searching for contingency plans of moving the location of the UEFA Champions League final amid ongoing tensions between Ukraine and Russia.

The 2021/22 edition of the Champions League final was set to be hosted at the Krestovsky Stadium. Also known as the Gazprom Arena, the iconic stadium in Saint Petersburg was unveiled in 2017. It was the showpiece arena for the 2018 FIFA World Cup that was hosted by eastern European giants.

However, the prospects of Saint Petersburg hosting the Champions League final could be in jeopardy as geopolitical and military tensions between Russia and Ukraine continue to soar.

Earlier on Thursday morning, Russia announced a full-scale military operation in Ukraine, unfazed by sanctions from NATO and its allies. There have been reports of several casualties as the Russians, led by president Vladimir Putin, seemingly strengthen their presence in the cities near the border.

UEFA are yet to react to the geopolitical situation evolving in Eastern Europe. But reports suggest that European football’s governing body is prepared to once again relocate the location of the Champions League final, should the situation demand the same.

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Saint Petersburg was initially scheduled to host the 2020/21 Champions League final, but the lengthening pandemic forced UEFA to move the final to Porto. Even the 2020 Champions League final was relocated to Portugal, in the capital city of Lisbon, after the pandemic forced the body to move away from Istanbul.

Both Istanbul and Saint Petersburg, as a result, were promised to host the 2022 and 2023 UCL finals, respectively. However, as the tensions continue to soar, there is a strong possibility that the location of the Champions League final could be moved once again.

Wembley has emerged as a favourite to host the coveted final, as there are four English teams still alive in the competition. The lenient COVID measures in England should also make Wembley much more accessible for fans while the stadium itself can experience almost full crowds.

England prime minister Boris Johnson joined the call for the Champions League final to be moved elsewhere, stating, “I think it inconceivable that major international football tournaments can take place in Russia after… the invasion of a sovereign country.”

While Wembley remains one of the options to host the Champions League final, UEFA are expected to carefully assess the situation in Russia while simultaneously exploring the alternatives, especially with three months still remaining before the final takes place.

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