Uefa insist Champions League final will be held in Istanbul despite Turkey election unrest

The Ataturk Stadium is due to host this year’s Champions League final on 10 June

Sports Staff
Friday 12 May 2023 13:31 BST
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Uefa insist Champions League final will be held in Istanbul
Uefa insist Champions League final will be held in Istanbul (REUTERS)

Uefa has dismissed claims it had put in contingency plans in case unrest over the Turkish election affected the Champions League Final.

Concerns had been raised about the potential for political strife, shortly before one of the world’s premier sporting events.

“Following some inaccurate and unfounded media reports, Uefa would like to clarify the position on the Champions League final,” a statement from the organisation said.

“The 2023 Uefa Champions League final will take place in Istanbul as scheduled, on 10 June 2023.

“Uefa has no discussions to the contrary with any political insitutions, governments or national football associations.”

Uefa have also taken a lot of lessons from the last few years, which saw all of the last three finals moved from their original venues at short notice. It was twice switched from Istanbul due to Covid, with the 2020 event moved to Lisbon and the 2021 fixture to Porto.

The election is due to take place on 14 May, almost a month before the match, but support for Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s presidential rule has dwindled, leading to the likelihood of a close election, which political experts have warned could bring unrest on either side.

Istanbul was due to host the 2021 event, but was moved just a few weeks beforehand.

A Covid surge saw the country put on the United Kingdom travel red list, which meant it was unfeasible for a match between Chelsea and Manchester City to take place there.

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