It is reported that the All-English Champions League final between Manchester City and Chelsea will be played in Portugal for the second consecutive year.
Negotiations took place at Wembley Stadium in London to achieve the main game of European football. But it proved impractical and FC Porto has the right to housing Estadio do Drago.
UEFA was unable to guarantee the quarantine waiver required to allow media and guests to fly to the UK capital.
On Wednesday, Portuguese officials approved the return of fans to the finals of the championship games, allowing stadiums with a capacity of up to 10% on 19 May.
Turkey on ‘Red List’
UEFA’s hopes of playing the game in Istanbul were dashed when Turkey was included in Britain’s “Red List” which lists countries with severe coronovirus outbreaks.
The British government’s decision, two days after the semi-finals ended, made it impossible for fans to travel from England to Turkey. The UK government immediately opened talks with UEFA on the possibility of transferring the final to England on 29 May.
Last season, the Champions League final was also played in Portugal due to COVID-19.
However, discussions between UEFA and the UK were not resolved on Monday. The organizers of the competition wanted the media, sponsors and guests to be able to fly without quarantine, people familiar with the talks told the Associated Press.
Portugal is on England’s “Green List” with 12 low-risk areas, where people will not need to be separated on their return from next Monday, making it easier for thousands of City and Chelsea fans to travel. Portugal will have to lift its current blockade for tourists from the United Kingdom.
Effects in istanbul
UEFA’s plan to relocate Istanbul to another European city came as no surprise to Turkey, as the European Football Federation also adjourned for the last time last year, when the Turkish metropolis was also scheduled to host the event.
Discussions in the Turkish public and in the media, however, focus primarily on the statements of Nihat Zadmir, head of the Turkish Football Federation (TFF). That Zadmir told a Turkish newspaper last week that “they would come to play the last game like a lamb”, suggesting that UEFA would eventually withdraw the first deal.
However, the UEFA decision embarrassed ir Zadmir, who had already opened fire in the home in the last few weeks of the Turkish Super League due to a series of controversial decisions by referees.
Istanbul’s Ataturk Stadium was due to host the final in 2022, as the last two matches were not played due to COVID-19.
Erdogan under four
Before the decision was made official, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government criticized the opposition’s possible move. Turkey’s main opposition party CHP accused the government of failing to deal with the coronovirus epidemic and lost the opportunity to promote the country by hosting Turkey’s largest global football club event.
The move could send an unwanted message to potential tourists who see Turkey as a holiday destination this summer, especially if the UK is one of the country’s largest sources of foreign visitors. This may help curtail Turkey’s efforts to revive tourism in the country, an important economic region.
The epidemic affected Turkey’s tourism revenue, which fell by two-thirds to $ 12 billion (EUR 9.89 billion) last year.
Km, co, pfd / jt / mds, (AP, Reuters)