Portugal seems to be the likely candidate to host the 2021 UEFA Champions League final after UEFA did not gain guarantees of exemptions it wanted to move the game to Wembley.
The UEFA has decided the final will be moved out of Turkey after travel restrictions were imposed on the country by the British government following England’s red travel list, which means that fans from England cannot travel to watch the game.
Portugal is on the green list so fans would be allowed to attend the final to be held on 29th May. The match could still be played at Wembley in London but would require a major shift from the government, who have so far failed to reach an agreement with Europe’s football governing body.
The European football governing body feels it is going to be easier to gain access for sponsors and broadcasters, in Portugal, who would need to be compensated if they were unable to attend the game.
Porto has been mentioned as a potential venue but it is understood that Lisbon, which hosted last year’s final, is also a possibility.
Travellers from England to green-list countries must follow rules before departure but do not have to quarantine on their return.
British citizens returning from red-list countries are required to quarantine at a government-approved hotel for 10 days. Such a quarantine would have an impact on players involved in Euro 2020, which starts on 11th June and will be played across multiple venues and countries in Europe.
On Friday, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said Covid-19 red-list countries “should not be visited except in the most extreme circumstances”.
UEFA had hoped to give both clubs a minimum of 4,000 tickets each for the game at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium.
Shapps said that the FA was in talks with UEFA about switching the game, but that it is “ultimately a decision for UEFA”.
Chelsea Supporters Trust has said they will meet UEFA and request for the final to be moved to the UK, while Manchester City fan groups said they will be renewing their calls to move the game from Istanbul.
There is also a fixture issue to resolve, as Wembley is scheduled to stage the Championship play-off final on 29th May. However, it is understood the EFL would consider moving the match if asked by UEFA, and its board would make the final call.