The UEFA Champions League final for the 2020/21 season is going to be played out between Chelsea and Manchester City. It’s an all-English affair yet again on the continental stage as the two Premier League heavyweights meet again.
Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea have already had the better of Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City twice this season. First in the FA Cup semifinal and then again in the Premier League just last week.
Hence it will be a very interesting clash between two sides who are looking very much the part at this moment. However, the problems currently lie in choosing a venue for the final by UEFA. The final was originally scheduled to be held in Istanbul on the 29th of May. However, Covid 19 regulations have made some changes to the original plans.
Where is the final going to be played:
The UEFA Champions League final has been shifted to Porto’s stadium with fans being allowed. The regulatory bodies have decided to allow a total of 12,000 fans inside the stadium. 6000 Tickets will go on sale for each Chelsea and Manchester City fan.
Earlier the final was to be held in the 50,000 capacity Estadio do Dragao in Istanbul on the 29th of May. However, England have imposed strict regulations over travel to Turkey due to Covid 19 protocols. This will pose barriers for the traveling fans.
However, the British government has allowed travel to 12 regions and Portugal falls in that category. Hence Porto has been selected as the preferred venue.
Turkey is currently placed on the ‘red list’ for covid 19 travelers. Moreover, Portugal is placed on the green light which means it will be much easier for fans to travel to Portugal and then return safely back home.
UEFA admitted that it was a challenge selecting a venue as both teams involved were from England. However, they’ve respected the decision of the England government and abided by the norms. One might recall that last year’s UEFA Champions League final was also held in Lisbon, Portugal.
UEFA Champions League final: Why not Wembley?
Now many may ask why wasn’t Wembley stadium selected as the venue for the final? It would be the most obvious choice given that both teams were British, the final be played in England itself. However, things are not that simple.
UEFA has requested certain Covid 19 exemptions for the broadcasters, VIPs, and guests who will be attending the final. However, the British government has not agreed to these requests and hence hopes of having a final at Wembley stadium are gone.
UEFA Champions League final: What has been said
“Fans have had to suffer more than twelve months without the ability to see their teams live and reaching a Champions League final is the pinnacle of club football,” UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin said.
To deprive those supporters of the chance to see the match in person was not an option and I am delighted that this compromise has been found.After the year that fans have endured, it is not right that they don’t have the chance to watch their teams in the biggest game of the season.”