The ball used for Saturday’s Champions League final will carry a message of peace, and will be auctioned off following the match.
The final will be held in Paris, with 13-time champions Real Madrid taking on Liverpool in a repeat of the 2018 showdown.
That match four years ago was held in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, which has been under attack from Russia since the end of February.
Sport has united in its condemnation of Russia’s actions, with football no different.
This year’s Champions League showpiece was meant to be held in St Petersburg, but UEFA swiftly moved the match to Paris following Russia’s invasion.
Russian clubs, meanwhile, will be unable to compete in UEFA competitions, while Russia’s national team were removed from their World Cup qualifying play-off by FIFA.
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) May 24, 2022
Adidas, the manufacturers of this season’s Champions League ball, have now revealed the match ball for the final.
The special edition ball will not be available for retail, and instead will be auctioned to help fund humanitarian efforts. It will also be inscribed with the words ‘мир | PEACE’.
An Adidas statement read: “Using one of sport’s biggest stages as an opportunity to unite the world in a global message of peace… the match ball will be auctioned after the game with the proceeds going to UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, to help protect people forced to flee their homes because of conflict and persecution.”
“Placed on the ball in bold lettering as a statement from UEFA, ‘мир’ in Cyrillic script can be translated as ‘peace’, which sits above the word in English – PEACE.
“The ball is designed to carry a simple message of peace, belonging, and hope that will be passed from player to player with every kick of the ball and beyond the Stade de France to the furthest corners of the world. The broader design of the ball is noticeably devoid of colour, featuring pure white panels to symbolise truce and unity.”
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