Sheriff Tiraspol, who stunned Real Madrid during last season's Champions League, have been told to find a new 'home' ground for European games after UEFA announced Friday that none of their matches could be played in Moldova's breakaway region of Transnistria.
"In light of the large-scale military escalation resulting in the invasion of the Ukrainian territory by the Russian army, the UEFA executive committee has today decided that no UEFA competition match shall be played in the region of Transnistria, in Moldova, until further notice," the European football body said in a statement.
This decision mainly concerns Transnistria's flagship club, Sheriff Tiraspol, who played their Champions League debut last season when they claimed a 2-1 win against eventual champions Real Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu in the group stage.
Sheriff, who play in the Moldovan championship, are due to play in the first qualifying round of this year's Champions League against Bosnian club Zrinjski Mostar on July 6 and 13.
The second leg was originally scheduled at their home Bolshaya Sportivnaya Arena stadium in Tiraspol, capital of the breakaway region.
"FC Sheriff Tiraspol... have been invited to propose an alternative venue/stadium outside the region of Transnistria for its home matches in UEFA club competitions for as long as the prohibition to play in the region remains in force," UEFA said.
Russian-speaking Transnistria, which is not recognised internationally, is a narrow strip of land located between southern Ukraine and Moldova, from which it seceded after a brief civil war.
Sheriff Tiraspol have won the Moldovan title for the sixth season in a row, their 19th title since 2001.