CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Wembley for Istambul: 48 hours to change Champions League final venue

The British government are pressing UEFA to switch the venue for this month's Champions League final to London. An emergency meeting will be held on Monday.

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Wembley for Istambul: 48 hours to change Champions League final venue
SHAUN BOTTERILL AFP

British government officials and UEFA will meet on Monday to discuss changing the venue for this month's Champions League final. The British delegation are hoping that the football body will agree to relocate the final, which is scheduled to be played in Istanbul, to Wembley. Seeing as both finalists this year are English clubs, and also considering the travel and health restrictions still in place in Turkey because of the coronavirus pandemic, they say it makes sense not to have both sets of fans travelling further than they need to.

During the past few days, the message from UEFA has been that the final will go ahead as planned, at the Ataturk in the Turkish capital. However, Turkey figures among the list of countries which the British government placed on its red list of destinations in recommendations for summer travel. Anyone travelling to a country on the red list must quarantine for 10 days on return to Britain. If the final goes ahead in Istanbul, many Chelsea and City fans will be unable to travel.

As it turns out, Istanbul was originally set to stage last year's final, but all of the games of the final stages of the tournament were moved to Portugal because of the coronavirus crisis. This time, history could repeat itself, with the inconveniences of holding the game in Turkey. Another option would be hold the final at a neutral ground, other than Wembley or Istanbul. Porto would be a possibility as Portugal is on the UK green list. We will know one way or another in the next 48 hours when a decision will be made.