UEFA has announced that the Champions League final between Chelsea and Manchester City will take place on May 29 at Porto’s Estadio do Dragao.
UEFA decided to move the final to Wembley and was in negotiations with the UK government. But there was a major stumbling block regarding the 2,000 workers, sponsors, VIPs, and international media. They would be affected by the quarantine laws.
The match was set to take place at Istanbul’s Ataturk Stadium. But after the UK government put Turkey on its red list of at-risk countries and advised fans not to fly for the match, demand mounted for the venue to be changed.
People of the United Kingdom returning from countries on the red list must stay in a government-approved hotel. The quarantine would be for ten days. The total stadium capacity is yet to be determined. UEFA has announced that 6,000 City and Chelsea fans will be able to attend.
Portugal is on the government’s green list, so tourists from the United Kingdom will be able to fly there starting on Sunday. They will not be required to quarantine, but they will be required to take Covid-19 tests before and during their trip.
UEFA said in a statement: “After a year of fans being shut out of stadiums, UEFA felt that something needed to be done to ensure the supporters of the two finalist teams could participate. UEFA considered taking the match to England. But despite the Football Association’s and authorities’ best efforts, the requisite exemptions from UK quarantine agreements could not be obtained.
The Portuguese authorities and the FPF stepped in and collaborated immediately and smoothly with UEFA. They stepped in to provide a suitable venue for the final. And since Portugal is on England’s green list, fans and players watching the final will not have to quarantine.
The decision is bitterly regretted by the Turkish football officials. They have worked tirelessly for the past two years to ensure the fruitful staging of the final in Istanbul. UEFA appreciates their continuing cooperation and cooperative spirit, as well as their appreciation in this particular situation. And will look into potential possibilities for Istanbul immediately.”
It will be Portugal’s third final in eight years, but the first in Porto.