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UEFA Champions League Final will be held in Porto instead of Istanbul

This month’s Champions League Final between Manchester City and Chelsea will be played in Porto, Portugal, where the British can travel without a ban due to the coronavirus epidemic. The governing body of UEFA on Wednesday lifted the final odds of the game from its website in Turkey.

The decision to move the final from Istanbul, which recently re-entered the virus-related blockade, came after talks between European football leaders and British government officials who sought to bring the game to London. When the parties failed to reach an agreement that allowed their home teams and fans to avoid international travel, Portugal was selected as the venue for the second consecutive year.

The final, which will be played on May 29 at the Estadio Drago in the coastal city of Porto, is the biggest day in the football calendar of European clubs. It was to be played at Istanbul’s Ataturk Olympic Stadium, but it would have rejected the participation of most British finalists, as Turkey is included in the so-called Red List of countries where travel is discouraged.

The game will be played with a capacity of Estadio Dragoo which is about 50,000, being less than half of this figure. The city and Chelsea are expected to get 6,000 tickets for their fans, which figures reflect the allocation to Turkey.

The demands of UEFA have caused a problem for British authorities, however, amid a spreading virus balancing the popular attraction of bringing a major sporting event with two English teams to the country against public health concerns. When the government rejected UEFA’s request to waive UEFA’s quarantine requirements so that UEFA staff members – as well as international broadcasters, sponsors, suppliers and officials – could participate in the game without a period of isolation, the London Finals Chance was dead.

With Portugal on the UK green list – and thus subject to much less strict travel rules – Craviro soon offered to host the final. Porto was chosen because he did not have the opportunity to host Champions League games last year when the event was limited to his balloon in Lisbon.

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