UEFA are being put under pressure to move this season’s Champions League final to the UK after Chelsea confirmed their place alongside Manchester City in the showdown.
The fixture is slated to be held in Istanbul, but Turkey is currently under a strict lockdown and there have been calls to change the match’s venue, considering it’s two English sides competing.
Fan groups of both Chelsea and City have expressed their preference to have the final played on home soil, given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“That’s the ideal scenario,” said Cliff Auger, chairman of the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust, as per the Telegraph – with Kevin Parker, general secretary of the Manchester City Supporters Group, concurring: “Of course, we’d like them to do that.”
Both sides are set to be handed over 4,000 tickets for the final, which means almost 10,000 British citizens will travel to Turkey, a country not on the UK’s ‘green list’.
Travelling Brits will need to self-isolate for ten days upon their return home, but some won’t be able to simply down tools for financial reasons and may take a risk.
It’s a tough situation for UEFA to be in, with the sensible option (playing the all-English final in the UK) forcing the governing body to somehow reimburse Turkey, Istanbul and probably Ataturk tenants Karagumrukspor if they move the match.