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Sport Government 'in talks over moving Champions League final to England'

21:26  07 may  2021
21:26  07 may  2021 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Kurt Zouma, Grant Shapps, Kevin De Bruyne posing for the camera: MailOnline logo © Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

The UK Government is in talks with UEFA over moving the Champions League final between Chelsea and Manchester City to England, according to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

The European showpiece final was set to take place in Istanbul on May 29, but the government placed Turkey on the UK's 'red list' group of countries - meaning anyone visiting the country would have to quarantine for 10 days in a hotel on their return.

And Transport Secretary Grant Shapps confirmed the government are in talks to bring the final to England, so players and fans can both attend the fixture.

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Shapps said in a Friday press conference: 'I'm afraid we are having to put Turkey on the red list, it does mean fans should not travel to turkey. The FA are in discussions with UEFA. We are very open to hosting the final but it is ultimately a decision for UEFA.

'Of course the UK already has successful track record of hosting games with spectators. I have spoken to the secretary of state for culture media and sport but we are very open to it'.

Mr Shapps also confirmed that Nepal and the Maldives were added to the countries in the 'red list' along with Turkey - the highest band of coronavirus-stricken countries that have restrictions for UK citizens.

Grant Shapps wearing a suit and tie: ( © Provided by Daily Mail ( a group of football players on a field: ( © Provided by Daily Mail (

The Green List

Britons will be able to travel quarantine-free to 12 countries and territories from May 17. They are:

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Elite sportspeople would not be exempt from the 10-day hotel quarantine rule upon their return to the UK.

This ruling would cause serious concern for Gareth Southgate's England squad, who begin their European Championships campaign just 15 days after the planned European final.

Several Three Lions internationals, including key men Raheem Sterling, Phil Foden and Mason Mount, are set to contest the Champions League final and their preparations for the European Championships would be severely damaged.

Fan groups have urged UEFA to make a quick decision in light of the government’s announcement.

‘It is important they reach a decision quickly for the sake of the match-going fans, the earlier the better,’ said Ronan Evain, chief executive of Football Supporters Europe.

‘It would be a sensible decision to move the game. Health comes first and playing in Turkey would put thousands of English fans in an impossible position.

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‘These are extraordinary times and they should be treated as such. It should not create a precedent for finals to be moved, depending on who is playing in them.

‘But this would have involved thousands of fans moving from one side of Europe to the other. It is legitimate to move the game.’

Sportsmail understands Chelsea and Manchester City will discuss the matter when the two clubs meet in the Premier League at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday. The Chelsea Supporters Trust issued a statement on Friday evening that they are appealing to UEFA to bring the final to the UK.

a group of people standing in front of a crowd posing for the camera: ( © Provided by Daily Mail (

The group tweeted: 'Turkey has been added to the red list and therefore no #CFC supporters can travel to watch the #UCL final.

'We are meeting with the @UEFA president this week & will request that the fixture is moved to the UK. #ForTheFans'

There was better news for UK citizens planning on travelling abroad this summer as Portugal and Israel were among 12 countries where British holidaymakers could visit without having to quarantine from May 12.

Also on the list were Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Brunei, Iceland, Gibraltar, Falkland Islands, Faroe Islands, along with some other islands.

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London's Wembley Stadium has hosted the Champions League final on two occasions in recent years - in 2011 and 2013 - but the ground is set to host the Championship play-off final on May 29.

According to Sky Sports News, Aston Villa offered their Villa Park ground as a potential host venue for the European showpiece event on Thursday - but the Midlands arena does not conform to UEFA regulations.

The UK are on course to allow 10,000 supporters to enter stadiums from May 17 after Wembley hosted test events last month, including the Carabao Cup final involving Manchester City.

a glass of green grass: ( © Provided by Daily Mail (

Another potential venue for the match is Portugal, as Lisbon hosted last year's Champions League final that was delayed due to coronavirus restrictions. Both clubs and sets of supporters would be able to travel to the country and not quarantine on their return.

Earlier in the week, UEFA maintained their position that the Champions League final will take place in Istanbul, regardless of the full lockdown in place in Turkey.

A statement from Europe's football governing body read: 'The UEFA Champions League final will take place in Istanbul on May 29 with a limited number of spectators and we are assured the temporary lockdown which is in force until May 17 should not have any impact on the match.

a group of people standing around a plane: ( © Provided by Daily Mail (

'UEFA continues to work closely with the Turkish Football Federation and the local and national authorities to stage the match safely.'

Last week, Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan imposed a 'full lockdown' lasting nearly three weeks in order to bring the daily coronavirus cases below the 5,000 mark.

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