Uefa confirm Champions League final will be played in Porto
Quarantine restrictions in UK blocked plans to move game to Wembley
The Champions League final between Manchester City and Chelsea will moved from Istanbul to the Dragao Stadium in Porto. File photograph: EPA
Porto has been confirmed as the venue for the Champions League final after a deal to move the game from Istanbul to Wembley proved out of reach.
Istanbul was due to host the match between Manchester City and Chelsea on May 29th but negotiations to take the final elsewhere began after Turkey was placed on England’s travel red list on Friday. City and Chelsea will get 6,000 tickets each for the match at Porto’s Estádio do Dragão. Arrangements for the sale of tickets to the general public will start on May 24th
The UK government had been keen to bring the game to Wembley but talks hit complications. Notably, Uefa wanted staff, media and sponsors to be able to travel to the UK without quarantine and the government was reluctant to agree to the number of exemptions requested.
Portugal is on England’s green list for travel, meaning fans City and Chelsea fans can attend without quarantine and there is no issue for players, many of whom will start preparing for the European Championship shortly after the final.
Uefa agreed to hold the match in Porto after resolving questions over Covid restrictions relating to the number of fans allowed to attend and guarantees on travel exemptions for officials, media and sponsors.
“I hope the final will be a symbol of hope at the re-emergence of Europe from a difficult period and that the fans who travel to the game will once again be able to lend their voices to showcase this final as the best in club football,” said Uefa’s president, Aleksander Ceferin.
“We accept that the decision of the British government to place Turkey on the red list for travel was taken in good faith and in the best interests of protecting its citizens from the spread of the virus but it also presented us with a major challenge in staging a final featuring two English teams.
“The difficulties of moving the final are great and the FA and the authorities made every effort to try to stage the match in England and I would like to thank them for their work in trying to make it happen.” - Guardian