Champions League final: Uefa moves match from Istanbul to Porto due to Covid-19 restrictions
May 29 final between Manchester City and Chelsea will be played at FC Porto's Estadio do Dragao
Uefa has announced that the Champions League final between Premier League clubs Manchester City and Chelsea on May 29 has been moved from Istanbul to Porto to allow English fans to travel under Covid-19 restrictions.
The final was originally scheduled to be held at Istanbul's Ataturk Olympic Stadium, but Turkey was last week put on Britain's travel 'red list', meaning that no English fans would be able to attend the game. It will now be held in FC Porto's Estadio do Dragao with Uefa allocating 6,000 tickets to each club. Tickets are expected to go on sale from today. The final capacity for the match has yet to be confirmed.
"I think we can all agree that we hope never to experience a year like the one we have just endured," said Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin
"To deprive supporters of the chance to see the match in person was not an option and I am delighted that this compromise has been found."
As of May 17, Portugal will be on the UK's 'green list', meaning players and fans can attend without having to quarantine on their return home.
It is the second successive year the final has been held in Portugal.
Uefa had been in talks with the UK government and English Football Association about moving the showpiece to Britain but despite "exhaustive efforts" were unable to gain exemptions for sponsors and international broadcasters, who would need to be compensated if they were unable to attend the game.
"Fans have had to suffer more than 12 months without the ability to see their teams live and reaching a Champions League final is the pinnacle of club football," added Ceferin.
"After the year that fans have endured, it is not right that they don't have the chance to watch their teams in the biggest game of the season."
Turkish Football Federation officials told Reuters on Wednesday they expected to host the 2023 Champions League final which would be part of the Republic's centenary celebrations.
Updated: May 13, 2021 03:24 PM