Champions League final: Uefa wants guarantees on fan access before confirming Portugal venue

Uefa will also want to know how many spectators can attend the match

Sports Staff
Wednesday 12 May 2021 13:31
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A general view of the Champions League trophy
A general view of the Champions League trophy

Uefa is working to receive the necessary guarantees over fan access to Portugal before making a firm decision on where to host the Champions League final.

European football’s governing body is seeking clarity over what will happen when current international travel Covid-19 restrictions in Portugal end on Sunday, and that it may take until Thursday to receive the information it needs.

Currently travel into Portugal from other countries is only allowed in limited essential cases, which as it stands would mean Chelsea and Manchester City supporters could not attend the match on 29 May.

Uefa will also want to know how many spectators can attend the match, with Porto’s Estadio do Dragao understood to be the venue being considered.

The prospect of Wembley hosting the final is fading fast, unless the Portuguese plan hits a hitch. It is understood the British Government’s position regarding quarantine exemptions for sponsors, VIPs and broadcasters being sought by Uefa has not changed since an initial meeting on Monday morning.

Meetings between them have been cordial, but the Government is concerned about giving the exemptions on foreign arrivals at a time when the country is trying to ease domestic lockdown restrictions.

The uncertainty over the location of the match began when the British Government placed the original host country – Turkey – on its high-risk ‘red list’ for international travel.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, who announced that decision last Friday, said Chelsea and Manchester City fans should not travel to Istanbul.

Chelsea Supporters’ Trust is meeting with Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin this week to discuss the matter, and its position remains that the match should be moved to the UK.

Conservative MP Steve Brine, who sits on the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee, said on Tuesday that Uefa should prioritise fans over the ‘prawn sandwich’ contingent.

“We’ve all had to make sacrifices in the last year and we’ve missed things far more important than a game of football,” he told talkSport.

“So if the game goes ahead with the fans, and without some of the officials with their prawn sandwiches, well then, for a league (Uefa) that is interested in primarily the fans, that shouldn’t be a big ask should it?”

PA

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