Russia has “no chance” of holding European football’s showpiece Champions League final in May if it invades Ukraine, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Tuesday.
The highlight of the European football calendar is due to take place at the Gazprom Arena in Saint Petersburg on May 28.
It will be Russia’s second time hosting the final, with the 2008 final between Manchester United and Chelsea being held in Moscow.
But Johnson told parliament following the deployment of Russian troops to two Moscow-backed regions of Ukraine that the Kremlin’s actions would have wide-ranging consequences.
“It is absolutely vital in this critical moment that President (Vladimir) Putin understands that what he is doing is going to be a disaster for Russia,” he said.
“It is clear from the response of the world to what he has done already in Donbass that he is going to end up with a Russia that is poorer… a Russia that is more isolated.”
“A Russia that has pariah status—no chance of holding a football tournament in a Russia that invades sovereign countries,” he added.
European football’s governing body UEFA said it was “constantly and closely monitoring the situation” but that “at present, there are no plans to change the venue”.