The Champions League final for 2022 will be taking place in Russia at St. Petersburg. However, due to the rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine, UEFA is having second thoughts about the location. The European football body is ready to change the venue for the final as they did just last year.
If Russia initiates an invasion of Ukraine then it will be a lot of chaos for the whole region. Therefore, it will be safer if the final shifts to another place where there won’t be matters of other interest and the focus will purely be on the sport. The players will also feel secure playing in a safe environment rather than a tense one.
Last season’s final venue also changed from Istanbul to Porto within a month due to the COVID restrictions. All the fans who had bought the tickets were supported to travel in order to watch the final between Chelsea and Manchester City. This can happen again this year also to ensure the safety of both club members and most importantly the fans.
The biggest game of the season is most likely to take place on May 28 at Krestovsky Stadium with no further decision as of yet. However, the final could take place elsewhere if Russia gets involved in a war with Ukraine. More than 100,000 Russian troops gathered on Ukraine’s southwest border last weekend, the United States and the United Kingdom were among the governments advising civilians to evacuate as soon as possible.
Why UEFA should work on relocating the Champions League final as soon as possible?
The first and foremost thing is the security of players and fans of their clubs. If any unfortunate events take place it could be harmful and dangerous to the lives of many people. Moreover, the whole footballing community and the boards and FAs will be questioned over the decision to continue the final at the same venue.
Nobody would feel safe in a tense environment and consequently, no one will enjoy the game. Players will not be in their perfect minds to play and win the game. Moreover, many supporters may not turn up due to these reasons. These will lead to a loose environment in one of the biggest games of the season.
To avoid football becoming a conversation on the political side of the world is also one concern. The final will also not take place at its full potential due to a lack of concentration and support. If a relocation takes place, UEFA must also help the supporters travel as they did last year.
UEFA should decide the location first before giving away the tickets as security will be a very important question asked. Also, the fans should be compensated if the venue later changes and are required to travel more. Everyone should be ensured utmost security regarding the final and should only be played under proper circumstances and fully-fledged security.
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