Playing the all-English Champions League final on home soil at Wembley is proving problematic. Instead, the players and fans of Chelsea and Manchester City could be headed to Portugal.
- UEFA and the British government are yet to reach an agreement on easing travel restrictions for fans for a Wembley final
- Portugal is on the ‘green list’ so fans would be able to attend on May 29
- UEFA has given the government until Tuesday to decide whether it can offer travel waivers
UEFA’s hopes of playing the final in Istanbul have been scuppered for a second consecutive season, this time by Turkey being added to England’s “red list” of countries with severe coronavirus outbreaks.
The British government’s decision that made it impossible for supporters to travel to Turkey from England came on Friday, two days after the semifinal lineup was completed.
But the government immediately talked with UEFA about the possibility of moving the May 29 final to Wembley.
Discussions between UEFA and the government failed to reach a resolution on Monday with the competition organiser wanting waivers to allow media, sponsors and guests to fly in without having to quarantine.
UEFA has given the British government until Tuesday to decide whether authorities can offer all of the travel waivers required.
If not, UEFA will consider taking the final to Portugal just like last season.
While Lisbon stadium was the scene of Bayern Munich’s victory over Paris Saint-Germain, Porto is one of the backup options to play this season’s final in the 50,000-capacity stadium.
Portugal is on England’s “green list” of 12 low-risk territories where people aren’t required to quarantine upon their return from next Monday, making it easier for thousands of City and Chelsea fans to be able to travel.
Portugal would have to lift its current block on tourists from Britain.
Switzerland, where UEFA is based, is among the amber list of countries from which people arriving in England have to quarantine for 10 days, albeit organised individually rather than via the mandatory hotel isolation in place for arrivals from red-list countries.
But UEFA has already secured exemptions from quarantine for officials and media for the European Championship in England, with eight games at Wembley including the July 11 final.