European Football: UEFA Agrees to Compensate for Istanbul's UCL Final Host Right Loss

2021-05-20 Football

Istanbul's misfortune in failing to host UEFA Champions League in two years consecutively due to the world pandemic has been finally compensated by UEFA. The European football governing body has  approved the move of this year's UEFA Super Cup and Champions League 2022/23 final from the originally appointed venues to Atarturk Stadium, Istanbul. The agreement on such compensation has been reached by UEFA and Turkish Football Federation recently.


Initially, the Super Cup 2021 was set to be held in Windsor Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland while UCL final 2022/23 was supposed to be staged in Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany. There has been no clear statement on the reason beyond the replacement for 2023 final edition instead of the next season, which is still contested as planned in Gazprom Arena, St.Petersburg. Nevertheless, such altering venue scheme is considered sufficiently fair for Turkish fans after miserable postponement for two seasons in a row.


The Turkish' capital city which was originally scheduled to host UCL 2019/20, was delayed to this season because of the one-legged format for the knock-out stage centralised in Lisbon till the final. This year, Istanbul's plan to stage the Champions League 2020/21 final between Chelsea and Manchester City fails again due to the high coronavirus contraction in the country which leads UK to put Turkey in the COVID-19 red list destination for travel. The second all English final in UCL finally has been moved to another Portuguese city, Porto.


In the history hosting European competition finals, Turkish stadium has been appointed twice. In the Champions League, Atarturk Stadium was previously chosen to stage the 2005 memorable final between Liverpool and AC Milan which ended with The Reds victory through penalties after conceding 0-3 at the first half. Meanwhile, in European Super Cup, another venue in Istanbul, Vodafone Park, which is the homebase of Besiktas, was selected in 2019 for the encounter of UCL Champions, Liverpool and Europa League winner, Chelsea. Once again The Reds won the game also by penalties.