CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Wembley cited as UCL final alternative as Turkey's covid situation detoriates

UEFA insist that the show-piece final will take place in the city of Istanbul but after a new national lockdown many are wondering if a late u-turn may be needed.

Wembley cited as UCL final alternative as Turkey's covid situation detoriates
CATHERINE IVILL AFP

UEFA are keen for fans to attend the 2020/21 Champions League final scheduled to take place in Istanbul's Atatürk Stadium on 29 May and 9,000 supporters are set to be allowed to attend the shoe-piece game

Many medical experts state that this decision to stage the game in the Turkish city as irresponsible and have frowned upon fans travelling to Istanbul as the covid-19 situation in the country deteriorates. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed earlier this week that the nation would undergo a total confinement to help see a number on positive cases with this period of lockdown ending in mid-May. Turkey is currently undergoing a daily average of approximately 50,000 new cases per day hence the need for drastic action from the government.

"Crazy and unnecessary"

There is now a call emerging from many health experts in the UK, stating that for public health reasons, should both Chelsea and Manchester City reach the final, then the game should take place at Wembley. "It would be crazy and unnecessary to stage the game in Turkey", stated Dr. Keith Neal a health expert at Nottingham University. "Turkey is presently a covid hotspot and will be little different at the end of May. I can't see things changing that much in the next four weeks. Fans will travel en masse, they will congregate in bars and airports and it's simply too much of a risk", concluded Neal.

At present visitors can travel to Turkey but need a negative PCR test to gain entry. At present UEFA claim the final will take place at the Attaturk but have yet to outline a ticketing policy or if the 9,000 fans will solely be composed of local citizens.

EFL play-off clash

The famous stadium in North London is set to host the Championship play-off final on 29 May so a negotiation process between the EFL and UEFA would need to commence before the venue could be considered as a viable alternative.