Chelsea fans urge UEFA president to stage Champions League final in UK

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin speaks to the media
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin speaks to the media (PA Archive)
16:36pm, Wed 12 May 2021
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Chelsea fans have urged UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin to thoroughly explore every possibility of staging this season’s Champions League final in the UK.

The all-English encounter between Chelsea and Manchester City was due to be played in Istanbul on May 29 but the decision of the British Government last Friday to place Turkey on its high-risk ‘red list’ for international travel amid the coronavirus pandemic led UEFA to look at other options.

Hopes of Wembley hosting the match have faded, with the British Government telling UEFA on Monday it could not agree to the quarantine exemptions being sought for sponsors, VIPs and broadcasters. That position has not altered, the PA news agency understands.

Multiple sources have told PA that Portugal is now in pole position if UEFA receives clarity on entry restrictions and stadium capacity limits at the preferred venue in Porto.

Dominic Rosso, the vice-chair of the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust, met virtually with Ceferin on Wednesday and was told a decision was expected “very soon”.

Rosso wrote on Twitter: “UEFA will ‘take care’ that supporters will be able to attend the final with priority given to CFC and MCFC.

“I emphasised that allocation/prices for loyal supporters must be reasonable and fair. UEFA confirmed that they must honour sponsor contracts and added that lots of football supporters (worldwide) will also want to attend and that this must be taken into account. The CST stated that sponsor allocations must be kept to a minimum.

“Announcement of location expected very soon and I urged UEFA to ensure that all possibilities of holding the final in the UK are explored thoroughly.”

UEFA is understood to be working to receive the necessary guarantees from the Portuguese authorities with a view to confirming Porto’s hosting on Thursday.

UEFA wants to know what will happen when current international travel restrictions in Portugal end on Sunday, with the hope that rules can be relaxed to allow fans to travel from England to Portugal.

Fans would not need to quarantine on their return to the UK, with Portugal on the Government’s ‘green list’.

Currently travel into Portugal from countries outside the European Union is only allowed in limited essential cases.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced Turkey had been placed on the international travel 'red list' last Friday (PA Wire)

UEFA will also want to know how many spectators can attend the match at Porto’s Estadio do Dragao.

The Portuguese top flight announced on Wednesday that fans will be allowed to attend the final round of matches next week, but venues will be limited to 10 per cent of capacity.

UEFA will clearly hope the Portuguese authorities will be prepared to allow a higher capacity for its showpiece match.

One thing which has been confirmed is the team of officials for the final. They are from Spain, with Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz chosen to referee the contest.

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