“The R.F.U. also does not support the decision to transfer any matches involving Russian teams to neutral territory as violating the sports principle and infringing on the interests of players, coaches and fans.”
Understand Russia’s Attack on Ukraine
What is at the root of this invasion? Russia considers Ukraine within its natural sphere of influence, and it has grown unnerved at Ukraine’s closeness with the West and the prospect that the country might join NATO or the European Union. While Ukraine is part of neither, it receives financial and military aid from the United States and Europe.
Dyukov is also the chief executive of Gazprom and the president of the Russian team Zenit-St. Petersburg.
UEFA had in recent days been lobbied extensively privately and publicly by British officials about moving the Champions League final to London. That idea was quickly rejected, however, for logistical reasons as well as unease about the game’s becoming a political tool for British lawmakers who have often used soccer to score points at home and abroad. Britain’s foreign secretary, for example, this week suggested British teams that should boycott the game if they qualified and it was not moved out of Russia.
Paris emerged as the top candidate to replace St. Petersburg because it had not hosted the game since 2006 and because France currently holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union, one of the bloc’s key decision-making bodies.