Champions League final moved from Istanbul to Porto due to Covid restrictions

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UEFA announced on Thursday that the Champions League final between Manchester City and Chelsea has been moved from Istanbul to Porto.

The match on May 29 has switched to the Estadio do Dragao to allow English spectators as travel between the UK and Turkey has been suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier, the governing body of European football announced that up to 6,000 supporters from each club will attend.

“ We accept that the UK Government’s decision to include Turkey on the travel red list was taken in good faith and in the best interest of protecting its citizens from the spread of the virus, but it also presented us a major challenge when organizing travel. a final with two English teams, ”said UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin in a statement.

“After the year that fans have endured, it is not right that they do not have the chance to see their teams in the biggest game of the season,” he added.

British citizens returning from Red List countries must be quarantined for 10 days in a government-approved hotel.

Earlier this week, newspaper reports claimed the game would be played at Wembley Stadium.

Supporter groups of the Blues and City had requested that the game be moved to England.

British transport secretary Grant Shapps said he would have welcomed the match in London.

“The difficulties in moving the final are great and the FA and the authorities have done everything they can to try and organize the game in England and I would like to thank them for their efforts to make this possible,” said Ceferin.

UEFA said the UK’s coronavirus rules made it difficult to hold the competition in the English capital.

“UEFA has spoken of moving the game to England, but despite the extensive efforts of the Football Association and the authorities, it has not been possible to obtain the necessary exemptions from the British quarantine arrangements,” he said.

Final ground capacity in Northern Portugal has yet to be determined.

Last season’s final and a ‘Final 8’ tournament for the quarter-finals were also held in Portugal, but in the capital Lisbon.

We have once again turned to our friends in Portugal to help both UEFA and the Champions League and I am, as always, very grateful to the FPF (Portuguese Football Association) and the Portuguese Government for agreeing to take the game on so ‘ n short term. , ‘Said Ceferin.

In the final round of the country’s top-tier Primeira Liga, spectators will return to the stadiums on May 19, with a limited number of people allowed, the league said Wednesday.

(AFP)