UEFA change Champions League ball after moving final away from Russia 5 months ago

UEFA change Champions League ball after moving final away from Russia

The Champions League final is now being played in Paris

UEFA have changed the Champions League ball that had been used throughout the 2021-22 season following the decision to move the final away from St.Petersburg, Russia.

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The European football governing body confirmed that Russia would no longer host the Champions League final as a result of Russian President Vladimir Putin's order for troops to invade Ukraine.

It was later confirmed that the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, near Paris, would be the new venue for the 2022 Champions League final.

As reported by Rob Harris, UEFA says it "wishes to express its thanks and appreciation to French Republic President Emmanuel Macron for his personal support and commitment to have European club football’s most prestigious game."

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This will be the first time the Stade de France has hosted the final since 2006, when Barcelona beat Arsenal 2-1.

Whilst there has been no official announcement on the changing of the ball, fans spotted that UEFA had reverted to using the original group stage ball during the most recent UEFA Youth League games - including Manchester United's game against Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday.

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The original St. Petersburg balls had been used during the first leg ties of the round of 16 ties and it is yet to be known if they will adopt a similar approach to what they did with the Youth League or if a new ball features the new location of the final.

It follows after both FIFA and UEFA announced that they would ban Russia from competing in all international and domestic competitions for the foreseeable future.

A joint statement from the two governing bodies said: "Following the initial decisions adopted by the FIFA Council and the UEFA Executive Committee, which decisions envisaged the adoption of additional measures, FIFA and UEFA have today decided together that all Russian teams, whether national representative teams or club teams, shall be suspended from participation in both FIFA and UEFA competitions until further notice."

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