Portugal as a refuge: For the second year in a row, UEFA transferred the Champions League final to Cristiano Ronaldo, and this time to Porto, the best option to solve the health puzzle, while ensuring the reception of at least 12,000 British fans.
Premier League atmosphere … the sun and more. Dragon Stadium will host the English derby between Chelsea and Manchester City on May 29, and they are competing to lift the prestigious trophy.
The setting is new, but it is not surprising, rumors have been circulating for days about the possible transfer of the sticker.
On Thursday, the European Union announced that the match would be held in Porto, after an urgent review of its initial plan to play it in Istanbul.
Given the severe travel restrictions between the UK and Turkey, choosing Ataturk’s stadium, without English fans, seemed increasingly difficult to justify.
The Turkish capital was already scheduled to host the final match last year, before it was sidelined in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. The UEFA press release did not specify whether there is an agreement for the 2022 edition, which is now scheduled in St. Petersburg.
Just as last summer, UEFA withdrew to Portugal.
In August, Lisbon hosted behind closed doors the “Final 8” of C1, which saw the crowning of Bayern Munich against Paris Saint-Germain (1-0).
This time, Porto was nominated. Its modern stadium hosted the Nations League Final in 2019.
But if FC Porto had twice won the Big Ears Cup (1987, 2004), the big city of Norte did not host the C1 Final.
This is not a problem, City coach Pep Guardiola said Thursday, considering the German midfielder of Turkish origin Ilkay Gundogan. “I wanted to go to Istanbul for him.”
The European Football Confederation (UEFA) envisions crossing the banks of the Douro River a new milestone towards a return to normality, especially with regard to the question of the audience.
The authority has guaranteed 6000 tickets for each club, which are on sale from Thursday to fans, pending completion with local authorities, of the total number of authorized spectators.
“Denying the fans the opportunity to attend this match in person was not an option, and I am happy that this compromise was reached,” said Alexander Ceferin, president of UEFA.
This Final should mark the beginning of the end of the closed-door era, as the EUR (11 June – 11 July) will arrive in its wake with partially packed stadiums, in the “safe and festive” atmosphere that UEFA desires.
Initially, the UK was treated as a back-up, especially as the country would partially reopen its stadiums to spectators in the final two days of the Premier League.
If a solution makes sense to the predominantly British public, London should still allow the media, officials and guests to enter its territory without quarantine.
With no agreement in this direction, the authority had to head earlier this week to Portugal.
Portugal is on the British government’s “Green List”, which allows its citizens to travel from May 17 to twelve countries and territories without restrictions from entering solitary confinement upon their return.
After six months of a health emergency and a deadly winter that marked several weeks in the first place in the world in terms of the number of new infections compared to its population of 10 million, Portugal began on May 1 the final phase of its “ gradual disassembly ”. , For now, it has not caused the re-emergence of the Covid-19 epidemic.
The Portuguese Football League announced, Wednesday, the partial reopening of the stadiums on the last day of the tournament, on May 19, with a standard set of 10% of the capacity of the stadium.
Spectators must present the negative result of the Covid-19 rapid test upon entering the stadium. For the time being, UEFA has not set conditions for the fans’ access to Porto.
France Press agency
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