UEFA Champions League final venue: Porto named backup for London; final decision in next 24hrs

UEFA Champions League Final: UEFA has moved Champions League final between Manchester City vs Chelsea from Istanbul to Porto
UEFA Champions League Final: UEFA has moved Champions League final between Manchester City vs Chelsea from Istanbul to Porto

UEFA Champions League final venue: European soccer’s governing body had talks with the British government on Monday about moving this month’s Champions League final to London because travel restrictions related to the coronavirus have made it almost impossible for domestic fans of the finalists — the Premier League rivals Manchester City and Chelsea — to attend the match at its scheduled site in Istanbul.

The final, currently set for Istanbul’s Ataturk Olympic Stadium on May 29, is the biggest day on the European club soccer calendar and like the Super Bowl and the Wimbledon final one of the tent-pole events in global sports every year.

UEFA has demanded travel waiver from UK govt but if it does not happen by Tuesday, the final is most likely to be held in Porto.

Man City vs Chelsea, UEFA Champions League final venue: Portugal is on England’s “green list” of 12 low-risk territories where people aren’t required to quarantine upon their return from next Monday, making it easier for thousands of fans to be able to travel. The coastal city of Porto is now one of the backup options after UEFA hit snags with its preferred location of London.

Questions about where to hold the match have been growing since Turkey announced a lockdown late last month. They intensified on Friday, days after City and Chelsea clinched their places in the final, when the British government announced that Turkey was among the countries to which Britons should avoid all but essential travel.

ALSO READ: UEFA Champions League Final: UK’s Wembley likely option to host Champions League final due to Turkey travel ban

Man City vs Chelsea, UEFA Champions League final venue: Final decision to be taken on Monday

UEFA also is seeking guarantees about spectators. Fans will start attending soccer games in England later this month, but that figure is capped at 10,000, a number that is far lower than the 25,000 fans that Istanbul had said it could accommodate. The British government relaxed that rule by saying 20,000 can attend the F.A. Cup final on May 17 at London’s Wembley Stadium. UEFA will demand a similar accommodation.