Kiev to host 2018 Champions League final

by

September 17, 2016
Real Madrid's Gareth Bale (front), and Sporting's Bruno Cesar vie for the ball during a Champions League, Group F match between Real Madrid and Sporting, at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, on Wednesday. (AP Photo)

ATHENS (AP):

The 2018 Champions League final will be played in Ukraine's capital, Kiev, just weeks before neighbouring Russia hosts the World Cup.

UEFA's executive committee confirmed on Thursday that Kiev's 70,000-capacity Olympic Stadium would stage its highest-profile club match on May 26, 2018.

One barrier to awarding the 2018 final to Kiev was potential visa problems for Russian officials and guests from Champions League sponsor Gazprom.

Russia annexed the Crimea region of Ukraine in early 2014. UEFA has blocked Russian and Ukrainian national and club teams being drawn together in competitions since July 2014.

UEFA also decided that the Super Cup between the Champions League and Europa League winners would be on August 14, 2018, in the Lillekula stadium in Tallinn, which has a capacity of around 10,000.

The French city of Lyon is in talks to host the 2018 Europa League final, but tax and security issues still need to be settled.

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