Champions League final: 'Delicate' negotiations ongoing over relocating from Istanbul to England, says UK minister

Turkey on UK travel red list, so Manchester City and Chelsea fans will be unable to attend

Delicate negotiations are going on between the British government, European football's governing body Uefa and others about where the Champions League final should be played, senior British minister Michael Gove said on Sunday.

The final, scheduled for May 29, will be between two English clubs, Manchester City and Chelsea. It was due to be played in Istanbul but that was thrown into doubt after the British government placed Turkey on its travel red list, making it all but impossible for British fans to attend.

"There are delicate negotiations that are going on at the moment," Gove said on Sky News when asked about where the final should take place.

"My friend, my colleague the culture secretary Oliver Dowden [also the minister for sport] is talking to people about this at the moment, and so I don't want to cut across that. But I'm sure that fans in the UK would dearly love to see the final played here in the UK."

Asked about the same issue in a separate interview on the BBC, Gove said Dowden was talking to "Uefa and others".

Manchester City booked their place in the final with a 4-1 aggregate victory over French champions, and last year's beaten finalists, Paris Saint-Germain in the semi-finals.

Chelsea then joined their domestic rivals in the title showpiece with a 3-1 aggregate victory against Real Madrid.

The two teams played out a dress rehearsal for the Champions League final on Saturday when Chelsea beat City 2-1 at the Etihad in a Premier League fixture, although both sides made numerous changes to their starting lineups.

Updated: May 9, 2021 02:22 PM

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