Where is Champions League final 2022? Paris chosen amid Russia-Ukraine crisis & rush for Manchester flights

UEFA’s decision comes in the wake of Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine as Saint Petersburg was removed from hosting the 2022 final - and there has already been a spike in people searching for flights from Manchester to Paris on Friday.

The final of this season’s Champions League will be moved from St Petersburg to Paris, UEFA has announced.

In a meeting on Friday morning, the governing body confirmed that Russia had been stripped of the event as a response to the country’s ongoing military attack on neighbouring Ukraine.

The showpiece contest, which is scheduled to take place on Saturday 28 May, will now be held at the Stade de France.

Google has reported a big spike this morning of people searching for flights from Manchester to Paris as hopeful fans check out prices and availability.

Why have UEFA moved the Champions League final?

The decision comes in direct response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and amid mounting disapproval from various sources.

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In recent days, UEFA have been put under widespread pressure to alter the location of the 2021/22 final, with football federations from Poland, Czech Republic, and Sweden writing to both them and FIFA in an effort to dissuade authorities from allowing matches to take place on Russian soil.

An excerpt from that joint statement read: “The military escalation that we are observing entails serious consequences and considerably lower safety for our national football teams and official delegations”.

The statement also called on FIFA and UEFA to immediately present “alternative solutions” for sites that were not on Russian soil.

Initially, this year’s final was due to be held in a stadium built specifically for the 2018 World Cup, and partially financed by one of UEFA’s chief sponsors, Gazprom.

As well as calls for matches to be relocated, there have also been questions raised about UEFA’s ongoing relationship with the Russian energy giant. German club Schalke, who use the company as a shirt sponsor, have already committed to dropping their branding from their match day kits.

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Where will the Champions League final take place instead?

The match will now take place in Paris’ Stade de France.

The French capital emerged as the top candidate to replace St. Petersburg partially because it had not hosted the event since 2006, and partially due to the fact that France currently holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union, one of the organisation’s key decision-making roles.

On Thursday, UEFA president, Aleksander Ceferin, travelled to France to meet with President Emmanuel Macron to finalise the agreement.

The decision to strip Russia of the match now means that the Champions League final will be played at a relocated venue for a third straight season. Each of the two most recent editions were moved to Portugal as a consequence of the pandemic.