Two English teams – Chelsea and Manchester City – will be vying for UEFA Champions League glory May 29, but the final won’t be played in England.
Instead, it has been moved from Istanbul, Turkey to Porto, Porttugal. The reason? To allow English fans to travel under COVID-19 restrictions, UEFA said Thursday.
Turkey last week put on England’s travel “red list,” meaning that no English fans would be able to attend the game. The final will be held in FC Porto’s Estadio do Dragao.
Each club will receive 6,000 tickets, which are expected to go on sale Thursday, UEFA said. The final capacity for the match hasn’t been determined.
There were discussions about moving the final to Wembley Stadium in London. UEFA, however, said that despite “exhaustive efforts on the part of the [English] Football Association and the authorities, it was not possible to achieve the necessary exemptions from UK quarantine arrangements.”
“I think we can all agree that we hope never to experience a year like the one we have just endured,” UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin was quoted by Reuters.
“Fans have had to suffer more than twelve months without the ability to see their teams live and reaching a Champions League final is the pinnacle of club football.
“To deprive those supporters of the chance to see the match in person was not an option and I am delighted that this compromise has been found.”