KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: The prospects for the Champions League Final in Istanbul were thrown into confusion after Turkey was added to the UK government’s travel ‘red list’.
The European federation has always insisted that the final would go ahead in the Turkish city which should have hosted the final last year and was shifted back a year after 19 rearrangements enforced by Covid-19.
This year’s final is an all-English affair between Manchester City and Chelsea and, in the current circumstances, it appeared a logistical nonsense for the match not to be played at a neutral venue in Britain.
UK citizens returning from red list countries are required to quarantine at a government-approved hotel for 10 days. This means that England’s players would hardly be properly prepared for the Euro finals which start on June 11. England’s first game is against Croatia at Wembley two days later.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said that red list countries “should not be visited except in the most extreme circumstances”.
He added that the government was open to hosting the game in England and that the Football Association was in talks with UEFA about a switch but that was “ultimately a decision for UEFA.”
Schapps added: “The UK has a successful track record of hosting matches with spectators so we are well placed to do it.
“”So we are very open to it, but it is actually in the end a decision for UEFA to make. But given it is two English clubs in the final, we look forward to hearing what they have to say.”