Wembley Stadium Still in Running to Host Champions League Final

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The British government is doing everything they can to ensure that the Champions League final (May 29) clash between Chelsea and Manchester City takes place in the homeland of the two clubs fighting for the title.

However, UEFA is hesitant and looking for guarantees, while they move closer to a decision that could possibly allow up to 22,500 spectators to attend in the match. 

Ever since the information first surfaced that the Champions League could be played in the Blighty, the Government of Great Britain has been working hard to make it really happen. UEFA was, at least initially, firmly behind the idea of organizing the final in Istanbul, Turkey.

However, now that they’re under pressure from the UK authorities, it is leaning towards a precedent setting decision that would allow the European title match to be moved to the home soil of the clubs competing for the trophy. Manchester City are favored over Chelsea, but the best online casinos (among which include the Apollo Games online casino) are just about to release odds.

Two Other Venues in London Refused by UEFA

The idea to play the finals at Villa Park, which the leaders of Aston Villa suggested to people from UEFA and the Football Association, definitely fell away due to the lack of basic conditions required for organizing such an event, so the famous London Wembley Stadium became mentioned as the first option.

The British tabloid The Sun reported that the governing body of football on the Old Continent is the closest to the decision to allow Wembley to host the Champions League final, but only with certain guarantees. The reason why UEFA’s way of thinking has now changed lay in the decision of Great Britain to put Turkey on the ‘red list’, which means that passengers to Istanbul would have to go through a 10-day quarantine upon returning to their homeland.

Turkey is going through their worst Covid crisis since the beginning of the pandemic. 

During this month, they had a record number of infections and deaths, which is why the state authorities imposed their first strict lockdown across the country.

Despite all that, the idea of Atatürk Stadium in Istanbul hosting the finals was not initially deviated away from, but the circumstances have changed drastically in the last few days.

In addition to Wembley, there was speculation about the organization of the final match at the new White Hart Lane, and St. James Park, but UEFA rejected both proposals. The only suitable stadium for such an event is Wembley, if we’re talking about having it in Great Britain.

Allegedly, UEFA is ready to approve the presence of as many as 22,500 spectators, should the British authorities meet certain conditions and guarantee, above all, compliance with all prescribed measures to combat the novel coronavirus and prevent further spread of this plague.

champions league

Hosting the Champions League Final With Fans as Rehearsal for the EURO

This should not come as a surprise given that the upcoming EURO will also be played in front of fans and that Wembley is going to be one of the stadiums that will host a portion of the matches. Namely, one of the eighth-final duels will be played at this venue as Wembley emerged as an option instead of Dublin.

The capital of the Republic of Ireland was to host a total of four matches in EURO, three in the group stage and one in the knockout stage.

The latter was, as we said, moved to Wembley, while the other three were moved to Saint Petersburg, Russia, due to the fact that no guarantees in regard to spectator attendance were sent in by the Irish authorities. 

London was thus added to the group of cities which will open the doors of its stadiums to fans of the most popular sport in the world at the European Championship. Other cities are Munich (Germany), Rome (Italy), St. Petersburg (Russia), Baku (Azerbaijan), Amsterdam (The Netherlands), Bucharest (Romania), Copenhagen (Denmark), Budapest (Hungary), and Glasgow (Scotland).

Now, back to the story of the CL final… Nothing is definitive yet because, first, the Football Association and the competent authorities in the UK must give their consent. Other requirements have to be overcome in order for Wembley to host the finalists of the elite competition as well.

The last time this happened was in 2013 when Bayern defeated Dortmund 2-1 in the all-German final.

One of the main demands of UEFA is that the British authorities guarantee the free arrival of all journalists, media, rights holders, and VIP guests without enforcing the epidemiological rules on quarantine.

If the final match is really moved to Wembley, UEFA will reportedly ask the clubs to give up part of the earnings from participation in the Champions League this year in order to collect 22.5 million euros for leveling the costs that the Turkish authorities have already set aside for organizing the event.

The final decision on the venue will be known by the end of next week.

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