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UEFA moves Champion's League final from Russia to France due to Ukraine crisis

European Union leaders attend a summit at the Chateau de Versailles near Paris on March 11, 2022. Photo by the European Union/ UPI | License Photo

Feb. 25 (UPI) -- The Union of European Football Associations, Europe's premier club soccer organization, announced on Friday that it's moved its Champions League final from Russia to France due to Moscow's invasion and attacks against Ukraine.

The championship soccer match was originally scheduled to be played in St. Petersburg, Russia, on May 28. UEFA officials said on Friday that the match has been moved to Paris' Stade de France.

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The UEFA said earlier this week that the championship match will be moved away from Russia due to the troop movements in and around Ukraine, but the new host venue wasn't announced until Friday.

"UEFA wishes to express its thanks and appreciation to the French Republic President Emmanuel Macron for his personal support and commitment to have European club football's most prestigious game moved to France at a time of unparalleled crisis," the UEFA said in a statement.

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"Together with the French government, UEFA willfully support multi-stakeholder efforts to ensure the provision of rescue for football players and their families in Ukraine who face dire human suffering, destruction and displacement."

The organization also ruled that its Russian and Ukrainian clubs and national teams that compete in UEFA events will be required to play their home matches at neutral venues until further notice.

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Formula One, the popular auto racing circuit in Europe, also said Friday that the Russian invasion makes it "impossible" to stage the Russian Grand Prix in September.

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"We are watching the developments in Ukraine with sadness and shock and hope for a swift and peaceful resolution to the present situation," Formula One said in a statement.

"On Thursday evening, Formula One, the FIA, discussed the position of our sport and the conclusion is, including the view of all relevant stakeholders, that it is impossible to hold the Russian Grand Prix in the current circumstances."

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