Champions League final: UK government in ‘delicate negotiations’ with Uefa over switching venue

Manchester City and Chelsea are set to meet in Istanbul but the UK government is pushing for the game to be switched to England

<p>Chelsea and City managers Thomas Tuchel and Pep Guardiola</p>

Chelsea and City managers Thomas Tuchel and Pep Guardiola

The UK government is engaged in “delicate negotiations” with Uefa over a proposal to move the Champions League final to England.

Manchester City and Chelsea are due to meet in Istanbul on 29 May for Uefa’s showpiece club game, but Turkey’s place on the UK’s red list means fans cannot travel to the match while players could be forced to quarantine on their return, disrupting the build-up to Euro 2020.

Both clubs and their fans’ groups have called for the final to be held in Britain, where some supporters would be able to attend, and cabinet minister Michael Gove said on Sunday that talks are under way with the governing body.

“There are delicate negotiations that are going on at the moment,” Gove said on Sky News. “The culture secretary Oliver Dowden is talking to people about this at the moment ... but I’m sure that fans in the UK would dearly love to see the final played here in the UK.”

On Friday the transport secretary Grant Shapps said Covid-19 red list countries “should not be visited except in the most extreme circumstances”.

“The UK has a successful track record of hosting matches with spectators so we are well placed to do it,” he said. “So we are very open to it, but it is actually in the end a decision for Uefa to make. But given it is two English clubs in the final, we look forward to hearing what they have to say.”

Talks are set to go ahead on Monday.

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