Thursday, April 18, 2024

Major sporting events moved from Russia

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The 2022 Champions League final will be played in Paris after Russia was stripped of the match following the nation’s invasion of Ukraine.

The final of Europe’s most prestigious club competition was due to be played in St Petersburg on 28 May.

Meanwhile, Russia’s Formula 1 Grand Prix, due to take place in Sochi on September 25, has been cancelled.

F1 says it is “impossible” to hold the event in “the current circumstances”.

International sports federations should move or cancel their sports events currently planned in Russia or Belarus, says the International Olympic Committee.

Uefa said the Champions League final would not be held at the Gazprom Arena and would move to the Stade de France in Paris instead.

Uefa thanked French President Emmanuel Macron for “his personal support and commitment” to have the game moved to France at “a time of unparalleled crisis”.

It added: “Together with the French government, Uefa will fully 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.”

It is the third year running the venue of the Champions League final has been moved – the previous two due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The decision to strip St Petersburg of the final has been criticised by Russian sporting and political officials.

Other reactions in Sport:

  • Manchester City’s Ukraine defender Oleksandr Zinchenkojoined a vigil in Manchester city centre to show support for his country and may face Everton at the weekend, while West Ham’s Ukraine. winger Andriy Yarmolenko has been given some time off by the club
  • Manchester Unitedhave terminated their sponsorship deal with Russia’s national airline
  • Uefa is looking to end its major £30m-a-year sponsorship deal with Russian state-run gas giant 
  • Former heavyweight boxing champion and Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said he was prepared to fight in a “bloody war” alongside his brotherWladimir Klitschko.
  • Russian tennis star Daniil Medvedev,soon to be the world’s leading men’s player, said hearing the news of his nation’s invasion was “not easy” and wants to ”promote peace all over the world”.
  • Andrey Rublev, Russia’s second-highest ranked tennis player, made a plea for peace after beating Hubert Hurkacz to reach the final of the Dubai Tennis Championships, signing a TV camera lens on court with the words “no war please”.
  • Banners stating ‘No a la guerra’ – which translates to ‘No to war’ – will be displayed at all matches in the top two divisions of Spanish football this weekend.
  • Formula 1 team Haas have removed their Russian-based sponsor– a company owned by Dmitry Mazepin, a close associate of Vladimir Putin – from their equipment during the final day of psre-seaon testing in Barcelona. Mazepin’s son, Nikita, is one of Haas’ drivers
  • Ukrainian tennis player Elina Svitolinahas pleaded for help to “stop the war”.
  • The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) has postponedWorld Cup 2023 qualifiers involving Netherlands vs Russia on February 27 and Great Britain vs Belarus that was scheduled a day later. (BBC)

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