In a significant development, UEFA has stripped Russia from hosting rights on Wednesday for the season-opening Super Cup game due to the country’s ongoing war in Ukraine. The game will now be played in Athens at the Georgia Karaiskakis Stadium home of Olympiakos on August 16, UEFA said after an executive committee meeting.
Earlier, Russia tried to make progress toward the return of international sports amid the war in Ukraine, at a meeting with officials of the European football body UEFA, on Tuesday but fresh reports on the matter have confirmed that Russia will have to wait longer.
As per the Russian news service TASS, a follow-up meeting will be held in February. Notably, Russian teams were banned from UEFA and FIFA competitions during the war in Ukraine. National teams including Poland, Switzerland, and Albania had refused to play against Russia within days of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Even the Court of Arbitration for Sport has admitted that letting Russian teams play ‘would be irreparable and chaotic’ for the smooth running of competitions when the UEFA and FIFA bans were challenged.
UEFA has terminated sponsorship deals with Russian state energy firm Gazprom and moved the 2022 Champions League final from the home stadium of Zenit St. Petersburg and banned the club from this season’s Champions League group stage.