UEFA Champions League: Portugal Back-to-Back Stages the Finals

2021-05-14 Champions League

UEFA Champions League has just made a twisted turn this season. This is not only regarding the competition itself which eventually let two English teams go through the final but also cross out the original UCL final host, Istanbul. It has been reported that the Turkish capital had been replaced by Porto to host this year's Champions League final. Ironically, Istanbul has failed to host European top flight competition twice in row due to the COVID-190 rising case in the country leading to its inclusion in UK's red list status. This definitely shall prevent the supporter of both teams from travelling to Turkey since UEFA prefers to hold a final with fans in it, instead of playing behind closed doors. The football governing body in Europe eventually turns to Portugal again for the replacement after last year's edition in Lisbon.


Selecting Portugal certainly became a win-win solution for all as fans can attend the game as UEFA expected and both finalists would be playing in a more continental rivalry atmosphere rather than holding the final on British homesoil as previously planned since both sides have been competing in the top four of English Premier League. Previously, FA and UEFA were considering to move the match to English soil to ease the situation for the teams and the fans. The British government regulation through UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps was supporting such idea. There were two venues suggested in England, Wembley Stadium, London and Villa Park, Birmingham. Unfortunately, the UK regulation would not allow a quarantine exemption to approximately 2,000 people who are mainly from UEFA sponsors and guests. The 10-day quarantine and testing procedure from the local officials, which they object, is not to be compromised.


FC Porto homebase, Estadio do Dragao, has been officially selected for the clash of Manchester City and Chelsea. UEFA has determined to give permission for each team to have 6,000 spectators travelling to Portugal. The UEFA president, Alexander Ceferin, made a statement regarding the fans allowance in this last fixture of UCL.


"I hope the final will be a symbol of hope at the re-emergence of Europe from a difficult period and that the fans who travel to the game will once again be able to lend their voices to showcase this final as the best in club football."


The Blues and The Citizens have encountered three times this season, two of which were the meetings between Thomas Tuchel and Pep Guardiola However, Chelsea managed to secure a victory in both of them. The former PSG boss is a mission to clinch their second title after the Blues' stunning victory in 2012, while Pep Guardiola is eyeing his third personal title and Manchester City's first.