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UEFA switches Super Cup from Kazan to Athens

Featured image credit: Erik Drost/CC BY 2.0/Edited for size

Featured image credit: Erik Drost/CC BY 2.0/Edited for size

UEFA, football’s European governing body, has announced that the Russian city of Kazan will no longer host this year’s Super Cup, with the match to take place in the Greek capital of Athens instead.

The match will be held at the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium, home of Olympiacos, on August 16.

The decision to remove the match from Kazan comes amid the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Russian clubs and national teams are currently banned from UEFA competitions, and last year’s Champions League final was relocated from Saint Petersburg to Paris following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In other news, UEFA has awarded hosting rights for the 2025 European U21 Championship to Slovakia. The 16-team tournament will be played in eight venues across eight Slovakian cities during the summer of 2025.

UEFA has also decided to discontinue the application of its Return to Play Protocol, which laid out procedures that should be followed by stadiums to minimise the risk posed by COVID-19.

The decision has been taken following the evolution of the pandemic and the “current overall developments” around Europe, UEFA said. Most domestic competitions are currently playing without any restrictions.

UEFA also confirmed that next year’s European Championship in Germany will feature 24 teams, as has been the case for the last two editions of the tournament. A new format will be implemented from 2028.

Other announcements made by UEFA yesterday (Wednesday) included the expansion of the Nations League through a new knockout round to be played in March, and a new format for European Championship qualifiers that will see teams drawn into 12 groups of four and five teams.

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