International sports events in Russia moved elsewhere

International sports events in Russia moved elsewhere
Gazprom Stadium had been scheduled to host the UEFA Champions League final. Wikipedia commons photo

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Wednesday, the organisers of high profile international sporting events spent Friday cancelling or moving fixtures that had been scheduled to take place in Russia.

During an emergency meeting Friday, the executive committee of UEFA (European Football Union) announced that the May 28 Champions League final will now be played in Paris rather than St. Petersburg. The event is watched on television by up to 400 million viewers worldwide.

UEFA also determined that Ukrainian and Russian professional clubs and national teams will play their home matches in neutral countries because of the conflict. Teams are still qualifying for this year’s World Cup, scheduled to occur between November and December in Qatar.

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Shortly after the UEFA announcement, the FIA Formula 1 World Championship announced that the Russia Grand Prix, scheduled for September, would not occur this year. This usually would take place at the seaside resort of Sochi and has been a fixture of the racing calendar since 2014.

The International Ski Federation (FIS) announced the cancellation of all events organised under its auspices in Russia for the remainder of this season. Six competitions are now scrapped, including two scheduled for this weekend, the ski cross World Cup in Sunny Valley and the ski jumping World Cup in Yaroslavl and Moscow. Also cancelled are the women’s ski jumping events in Nizhny Tagil and Tchaikovsky and cross-country skiing events in Tyumen.

Participants were already on site for the events scheduled for this weekend. FIS officials are helping athletes arrange their early departure from the venues.

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