The UEFA Champions League final between Manchester City and Chelsea will be held at the Estádio do Dragão in Porto on 29 May.
This season’s final will take place in Porto because of travel difficulties for English fans in reaching Istanbul as a result of Turkey being placed on UK’s ‘red list’.
The final had been scheduled to take place at Istanbul’s Atatürk Olympic Stadium but, following the UK government’s decision to place Turkey on its ‘red list’ of COVID-19 travel destinations, staging the final there would have meant that none of the clubs’ domestic fans would have been able to travel to the game. After a year of fans being locked out of stadiums, UEFA felt that everything needed to be done to ensure the supporters of the finalist teams could attend.
“UEFA 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 achieve the necessary exemptions from UK quarantine arrangements,” UEFA said in a statement.
The Portuguese authorities and the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) stepped in and worked quickly and seamlessly with UEFA to offer a fitting venue for the final. Because Portugal is a ‘green list’ destination for the UK, fans and players attending the final will not have to quarantine on their return home.
“The decision does not come without big regret for the work that the Turkish football authorities have done over the past two years to ensure the successful staging of the final in Istanbul. UEFA is grateful for their continued partnership and cooperative spirit as well as the understanding they showed in this particular circumstance, and will urgently look into future opportunities for the city of Istanbul.”
Fans of Manchester City and Chelsea will be able to buy tickets through their clubs in the usual way, with 6,000 tickets per club.