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UEFA Champions League final venue – football associations considering climate concerns

Flight prices from the UK to Porto have risen sharply after the city was named the new host for the 2021 UEFA Champions League final. For the fifth time in nine seasons, the UEFA Champions League final will be played by teams from the same country. And for the fifth time in nine seasons, players, officials and supporters will collectively travel to another country for a spectacular European football event.

After much deliberation, UEFA moved the May 29 match between Manchester City and Chelsea from Istanbul to Porto, as the coronavirus ban in Turkey reduced travel time and costs for fans in the process.

Manchester City and Chelsea met in the FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley this season and the stadium was discussed as a possible alternative to the Champions League final.

UEFA, UK government officials and the Football Association met to talk about Wembley hosting this season’s finals, but in these discussions, Covid’s views were at the forefront of climate concerns. Porto was eventually chosen to host the match as there was no agreement on quarantine waivers for sponsors, VIPs and broadcasters.

But by taking drastic steps due to Covid, have they failed to adequately consider the environmental impact of thousands of fans flying nearly 1,000 miles for a sport that can be played in England?

Fans traveling in the last nine finals have sent about 133 meters of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere – the equivalent of burning 734 coal wagons of coal, or the contents of 1,761 fully loaded tank trucks. If those games were played at the appropriate neutral venue, the figure could have been reduced to around 27.7 million kilograms – as well as saving energy emissions for the entire year from more than 12,600 homes.

“The scale of these avoidable emissions is very disappointing,” said Andrew Sims, Rapid Transition Alliance coordinator and co-director of the New Weather Institute.

“Achieving real cuts means we do all things differently and clean energy and low-impact behavior require quick replacement, not slow, unpleasant walking on carbon ground.”

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UEFA Champions League final venue - football associations considering climate concerns

A UEFA spokesperson said: “Where the finals take place, the UEFA finals are usually reserved for a limited number of countries whose clubs are highly competitive. However, when there is sufficient infrastructure and it is also built in this perspective, it is fair and necessary not only to offer other fans the possibility of a unique live experience, but also to organize events that Can encourage the promotion of football throughout the region.

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