May 20, 2022

UEFA prepared to move Champions League final to Wembley

May 10, 2021
Wembley stadium

UEFA will hold crunch talks with the UK government on Monday over potentially moving the Champions League final to Wembley Stadium, with the European governing body drawing up a list of criteria which would have to be met for the switch to be made.

Turkey was recently added to the UK’s ‘red list’ of COVID-19 travel restrictions, casting doubts over whether Premier League duo Chelsea and Manchester City could fly to Istanbul for the final on May 29.

Discussions over a move to Wembley began almost immediately after that decision was made public, and according to The Times, things are stepping up and the decision to move the game to England could be made within 24 hours.

UEFA are prepared to move the game to Wembley, but they would need certain criteria to be met before they make a final decision.

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Firstly, the EFL would have to agree to move the Championship play-off final, which has been set for Wembley on the same day, but that is not thought to be a concern as the two sides who reach that game will obviously not need Wembley’s entire capacity.

If Wembley is made vacant, UEFA wants to see the UK government agree to increase the number of fans permitted in the stadium from 10,000 to 22,500. Wembley is currently only permitting 10,000 fans but is set to use the FA Cup final between Chelsea and Leicester City on May 15 as a trial event for 20,000.

They have also asked for quarantine rules to be relaxed for UEFA staff, international broadcasters and sponsors, who would be forced to undergo a ten-day isolation period under current regulations.

UEFA are also considering moving the game to Porto, Portugal, but there is a growing belief that the final decision will be made to hand Wembley this year’s Champions League final.

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While Turkish officials are understandably keen to keep an event which they had initially planned to host last year – £20m was spent upgrading the Atatürk Olympic Stadium specifically for this moment – UEFA have already outlined a new schedule which would see Istanbul given the chance to hold the final in 2023, when Munich are currently down as hosts.

With this new timetable, Munich would be kicked back to 2025, with St Petersburg keeping 2022 and Wembley hosting again in 2024.

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