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Talks to decide on all-English final switch to Wembley

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A general view of an empty Wembley Stadium. The three EFL play-off finals could be rearranged to allow the all-English Champions League final to be staged at Wembley. Photo: Mike Egerton/PA

A general view of an empty Wembley Stadium. The three EFL play-off finals could be rearranged to allow the all-English Champions League final to be staged at Wembley. Photo: Mike Egerton/PA

A general view of an empty Wembley Stadium. The three EFL play-off finals could be rearranged to allow the all-English Champions League final to be staged at Wembley. Photo: Mike Egerton/PA

Wembley’s chances of hosting an all-English Champions League final hinge today on whether the UK government will make exceptions to its quarantine rules for overseas media, sponsors and officials.

Talks will be held over moving Uefa’s final from Istanbul to London after Man City and Chelsea qualified for the final and Turkey was placed on the UK’s “red list” of countries to which travel is permitted only in exceptional circumstances.

English-based fans of the clubs have been told they should not attend and players would need a special exemption to then avoid 10 days in a quarantine hotel when they return on the eve of Euro 2021.

The UK government has offered to host the game, with the English Football League also ready to switch its dates for the Championship play-off final so that European club football’s showpiece event could be staged at Wembley on May 29.

Uefa wants fans at the final, but moving venues with only 19 days’ notice would require a huge logistical upheaval. Sources have said a decision must be taken early this week, with the government and Uefa ready for crunch talks today.

The key for Uefa is expected to be Boris Johnson’s stance towards quarantine rules for people travelling into London from other countries for the game. Around 1,000 VIPs, officials, media and sponsors are due to attend this year’s Champions League.

At present, people who have been in a red-list country over the previous 10 days can travel to England only if they are a British or Irish national or have residence rights. Those from an amber-list country must quarantine at home or in the place they are staying for 10 days. Those amber-list countries include major European football nations such as France, Spain, Italy and Germany but also Switzerland, where Uefa is based.

Although Portugal has been suggested as a back-up option, it is understood that Uefa is focused on the choice between Istanbul and London. 

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Telegraph Media Group Limited [2021]


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