UEFA, UK Govt set for talks over moving UCL final to London


European football Governing body, UEFA will hold talks with the UK government on Monday about moving the UEFA Champions League final from Istanbul to London.

Wembley will be the most likely venue to host the final if the fixture between Chelsea and Manchester City is moved to England.

A decision is expected to be made by Tuesday on whether the match will take place at the Ataturk Stadium in Istanbul as originally planned or at a different location.

Restrictions on foreign travel are set to be relaxed on May 17, but Turkey was added to the UK government’s list of ‘red’ countries this week.

UK citizens returning from red list countries are required to quarantine at a government-approved hotel for 10 days.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps has told fans not to travel to Turkey and confirmed the Football Association (FA) had approached UEFA over the prospect of moving the match to the UK in light of the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions.

He told a government press conference on Friday: “I’m afraid we are having to put Turkey on the red list. This will have a number of ramifications.

First of all, it does mean with regards to the Champions League, fans should not travel to Turkey.

“The FA are in discussions with UEFA on this. We are very open to hosting the final but it is ultimately a decision for UEFA.

“Of course, the UK has already got a successful track record of football matches with spectators, so we are well placed to do it.

“We are very open to it but it is in the end a decision for UEFA to make, but given there are two English clubs in that final, we look forward to what they have to say.”

It is understood the three English Football League play-off finals could be rearranged to allow the all-English Champions League final to be staged at Wembley.

The stadium is due to host the Championship play-off final on May 29 the same day as the Champions League final with the League One and League Two equivalents arranged for the following two days.

It is understood the EFL would consider all options including altering the arrangements for those fixtures to accommodate the Champions League final should they be contacted by UEFA.

That could mean the matches being played on different dates, or at alternative venues.


Vincent Paul

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