The dramatic escalation in the Russia-Ukraine conflict also affects sport and has triggered concerned reactions from associations and clubs.

The very day after Russia recognized the separatist areas in eastern Ukraine, calls were made for the Champions League final (May 28) to be moved from the Russian metropolis of St. Petersburg.

Competitions are also on the brink in Ukraine, and handball games have already been moved abroad.

The European Football Union should withdraw the Champions League final from Russia and end the cooperation with main sponsor Gazprom.

Members of the European Parliament in Strasbourg demanded this in an open letter to UEFA and its President Aleksander Ceferin published on Tuesday.

Gone are the days of just observing the situation continuously.

"UEFA must act now," the letter demands.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also called on UEFA to postpone the final.

"No way to hold football tournaments in a Russia invading sovereign states," Johnson said in Parliament in London on Tuesday.

"At this critical moment, it is absolutely critical that President (Vladimir) Putin understands that what he is doing spells disaster for Russia."

"It's a shameful decision.

UEFA should not provide cover for a violent dictatorship,” the conservative politician tweeted on sticking to St. Petersburg.

Until then, however, the status quo had prevailed at UEFA: “There are currently no plans to change the venue”.

The situation is being closely monitored.

The urgent question about Gazprom as a sponsor should already arise.

The Russian energy company has been a close partner of the continental association for years and is also prominently placed in the stadiums at European championships.

This could also be the case at the next European Championships in summer 2024 in Germany.

Final planned in Putin's hometown

"It's a very delicate situation that can change hourly and which we all keep in mind," said DFB interim president Rainer Koch of the ARD "Sportschau" and emphasized: "It's currently about securing world peace and dealing with it far more important than football.

UEFA will communicate any consequences for football if necessary.”

With regard to international matches of the Russian champions Zenit St. Petersburg, UEFA announced that it was in close contact with the associations and clubs concerned.

"It is currently planned that all games will take place as planned," it said.

Zenit meet Betis Sevilla in the Europa League second leg in Spain on Thursday.

The final of Europe's premier club competition is set to take place on May 28 in St. Petersburg, the hometown of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“The Sun” already brought up Wembley Stadium.

The odds for the London arena would increase significantly, the tabloid wrote on Tuesday, if two English teams reach the final.

Manchester City, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Manchester United are currently still in the competition.

Second division club FC Schalke 04, which is sponsored by Gazprom, is following the political situation in Eastern Europe "with great concern".

The club explained this in a statement from the club's management.

It is still open whether the club will take any consequences.

"FC Schalke 04 will monitor further developments, evaluate them and make a strong appeal for peace - to protect those affected by the crisis," it said.

Due to the escalating situation, the European Handball Federation will not host any international games in Ukraine in the next four weeks.

Men's champions Motor Zaporozhye are to play their two home games in the Champions League against Paris Saint-Germain (March 1) and FC Barcelona (March 3) in a neutral hall in Presov, Slovakia.

The world volleyball association FIVB is not currently thinking about depriving Russia of the 2022 men's World Cup.

"The FIVB believes that sport should always remain separate from politics, but we are closely monitoring the situation to ensure the safety and welfare of all participants in our events, which is our top priority," the world governing body said.

The Formula 1 Grand Prix is ​​scheduled to start in the Russian Olympic city of Sochi on September 25 and will remain in Russia in 2023 – in St. Petersburg.

The main sponsor of Mick Schumacher's Haas team is the Russian mining company Uralkali.

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