United Kingdom

UEFA to hold talks with the UK Government on MONDAY about moving Champions League final

UEFA officials will hold key talks with the Government on Monday about moving the Champions League final to Wembley, in the hope of agreeing the switch within the next 24 hours.

The Government will be asked to waive the requirement to quarantine on arrival in the UK for around 1,000 UEFA staff and broadcasters needed to put on the final.

If granted, Chelsea's clash with Manchester City on May 29 would take place in London in front of 22,500 fans. 

UEFA will meet with the UK government on Monday to discuss the Champions League final

The match is due to take place in Istanbul but travel restrictions may make that impossible

UEFA insisted on Sunday that the final decision had yet to be taken, but bringing the game to London has emerged as the favoured option ahead of sticking with Istanbul or taking it to another country with fewer travel restrictions, such as Portugal. 

Other UK venues, such the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, have been ruled out. A Wembley final would have significant ramifications for the EFL as the Championship play-off final is scheduled for the same day. 

The likeliest outcome is that the play-off - the most valuable game in world football - will be pushed back 24 hours. 

Both the EFL and the play-off contenders would rather the showpiece occasion was delayed than switched to another stadium.

In the talks with the Government, UEFA are also expected to demand that Wembley can be filled to 25 per cent of capacity, as it will for the group stages of the European Championship.

In order to comply with lockdown restrictions, the Government would have to designate the final a test event in the same way as this Saturday's FA Cup final between Chelsea and Leicester. 

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has confirmed fans should not be travelling to Turkey

'There are delicate negotiations that are going on at the moment,' Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove said on Sunday. 'But I'm sure that fans in the UK would dearly love to see the final played here in the UK.'

Any switch to Wembley would have a knock-on effect for future Champions League final hosts, while it is expected that Saint Petersburg would remain in place for next year, with Istanbul taking the match in 2023.   

The scheduled 2023 host, Munich, would move to 2025 with Wembley remaining in place for 2024, when Germany hosts the European Championship.

UEFA are also grappling with financial considerations if this season's final is switched. 

Last year's final was moved from the Ataturk Stadium in the aftermath of the first wave of the pandemic, so the Turkish organisers would demand further compensation.

A third option is to move the final to Portugal, as happened last year, with Lisbon once again preferred to Porto. 

The EFL are willing to move the play-off finals to allow Wembley to be free on that weekend

Football news:

Scotland coach Clarke: There were a lot of good moments during the group stage, but no points scored
England are the most boring group winners in history. Two goals were enough! And at the World Cup, the Italians once became the first even with one
Dalic - to the fans after reaching the Euro playoffs: You are our strength, and we will be your pride
Modric became the youngest and oldest goalscorer in Croatia at the Euro
Czech Republic coach Shilgava: We came out of the group and fought with England for the first place. We got what we wanted
Gareth Southgate: England wanted to win the group and continue to play at Wembley-and it succeeded
Luka Modric: When Croatia plays like this, we are dangerous for everyone