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22 Oct, 2022 12:40

UEFA settles debts with Russia – official

The European football governing body stripped St. Petersburg of the Champions League final earlier this year
UEFA settles debts with Russia – official

European football governing body UEFA has settled compensation claims with Russia after stripping the country of the 2022 Champions League final, local official Alexey Sorokin has announced.

The UEFA showpiece match – widely regarded as the most prestigious club game in world football – was due to be played at the Gazprom Arena in St. Petersburg on May 29.

The decision was announced on February 25 to move the game to Paris, following the launch of Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine.

Sorokin, who was general director of the St. Petersburg organizing committee, told Russian outlet Sport-Express on Saturday that compensation claims had been settled.

“All compensation from UEFA has been paid to all the contractors. The question is closed. UEFA doesn’t owe anything now,” Sorokin said.  

“There were no difficulties, just the amount was discussed for a long time. These were normal, working discussions. 

“I can’t say with certainty about their relationship with the management of the stadium in St. Petersburg. From our point of view, all costs to the contractors were compensated.”

UEFA’s decision to move the Champions League final from Russia preceded more sanctions announced at the end of February, when the European governing body and global counterpart FIFA banned all Russian teams from their competitions.

That decision is still in force, and has deprived Russia of the chance to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, as well as the 2024 European Championship due to be held in Germany.

The 2022 Champions League final was switched to the Stade de France in Paris, where it was marred by widespread trouble involving local police and visiting fans from Liverpool.

The match was delayed by more than 30 minutes before Real Madrid went on to win a 14th European Cup with a 1-0 victory. French officials have since apologized for their handling of the event.

The 2022 Champions League final is just one of a host of major sporting occasions that Russia has been deprived of because of its military operation in Ukraine.

The 2023 editions of the junior and men’s world ice hockey championships have both been relocated to other countries, as was the 2022 men’s world volleyball championship.

Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin revealed in June that international sports organizations have canceled or postponed 186 international sporting events planned for Russia in 2022-2023, including 36 major events.

Matytsin added last month that Russia was “still in the process” of negotiating compensation with international federations for a number of those events.