UEFA is to announce on Friday it is moving the Champions League final from St Petersburg, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has called an “extraordinary meeting” of its executive committee when officials will discuss the crisis.
In a tweet posted on Thursday, European football’s governing body said: “Following the evolution of the situation between Russia and Ukraine in the last 24 hours, the UEFA President has decided to call an extraordinary meeting of the Executive Committee for Friday 25 February at 10:00 CET, in order to evaluate the situation and take all necessary decisions.”Advertisement
Chelsea, the current holders, are one of four English teams left in this season’s tournament, along with Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool.
Former England striker and Match Of The Day presenter Gary Lineker was among those backing UEFA’s move, calling it “the right decision” in a tweet.
Andriy Shevchenko, the ex-Chelsea and AC Milan striker and Ukraine’s all-time record goalscorer, said on Instagram: “My people and my family are under attack. We only want peace. War is not the answer.”
The Ukrainian FA has contacted FIFA and UEFA to call for Russia to be removed from the World Cup play-offs and its clubs kicked out of the Europa League.
The football associations of Poland, Sweden and the Czech Republic said they would boycott any World Cup play-off match with Russia if FIFA did not move proposed fixtures from Moscow.
An MP has also called for Roman Abramovich to be forced to give up ownership of Chelsea.