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UEFA to strip Russia of Champions League final, condemns invasion

UEFA has condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It's the first time European football's gover...

UEFA has condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

It's the first time European football's governing body has taken a stance on Vladimir Putin's unlawful annexation of Russia's neighbour to the west.

A meeting of UEFA's Executive Committee will take place on Friday (February 25), but it's believed the decision has already been taken to strip St. Petersburg of this season's Champions League final.

As recently as this week, UEFA denied it was contemplating taking this year's European showpiece away from Russian hands.

Meanwhile, the FAI say they remain in constant communication with the government, UEFA and the Ukrainian FA regarding this summer's Nations League meetings.

Stephen Kenny's side are due to travel to the western Ukraine city of Lviv for a June 14 encounter. Ten days prior, Ukraine are scheduled to visit Dublin.

Friday's Executive Committee meeting is also likely to decide the fates of international games in the region too.

However, next month's World Cup qualifiers fall under the auspices of FIFA. Russia are due to host Poland, on the same night Ukraine are away to Scotland.

Bundesliga club Schalke have also decided to remove the Gazprom logo from their jerseys.

The Russian state-owned energy company have been their primary sponsor since 2007. 'Schalke 04' branding will instead adorn their blue shirts, starting with Saturday's game away to Karlsruher.

Gazprom's connections to Putin and Schalke were at one point so strong, that the Russian president reportedly tried to block Manuel Neuer's move to Bayern Munich in 2011.

“He was absolutely infatuated with Manuel, a real fan of his," Clemens Tönnies, then Schalke's supervisory board chairman told Sport Bild at the time, "He asked me to do everything to keep Manuel."

UEFA statement:

UEFA shares the international community’s significant concern for the security situation developing in Europe and strongly condemns the ongoing Russian military invasion in Ukraine.

As the governing body of European football, UEFA is working tirelessly to develop and promote football according to common European values such as peace and respect for human rights, in the spirit of the Olympic Charter. We remain resolute in our solidarity with the football community in Ukraine and stand ready to extend our hand to the Ukrainian people.

We are dealing with this situation with the utmost seriousness and urgency. Decisions will be taken by the UEFA Executive Committee and announced tomorrow.

IOC ‘strongly condemn’ Russia’s act of war on Ukraine for breaking Olympic Truce

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