This year’s UEFA Champions League final between premier league sides, Manchester City FC and Chelsea FC will be held in Porto, Portugal, on May 29 instead of İstanbul to allow fans to avoid quarantine measures caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
This development was contained in a statement by UEFA on Thursday. It would be recalled that the final was originally scheduled to take place at Atatürk Stadium in İstanbul, but following the UK government’s decision to put Turkey on its red list of COVID-19 travel destinations, staging the final there would have meant none of the clubs’ domestic fans would be able to travel to the game.
The statement said after a year of fans being locked out of stadiums, UEFA thought that everything needed to be done to ensure that the supporters of the two teams could attend.
The body noted that it discussed moving the match to England but, despite exhaustive efforts on the part of the Football Association and the authorities, it was not possible to obtain the necessary exemptions from UK quarantine arrangements.
UEFA said “The decision does not come without big regret for the work that the Turkish football authorities have done over the last two years to ensure the successful staging of the final in İstanbul”.
It is important to note that Portugal is a “green list” destination for England, meaning fans and players will not have to quarantine on their return home.