UEFA hold talks over hosting Champions League final in Lisbon
EXCLUSIVE: UEFA make informal approach to Portuguese football authorities over staging Champions League final in Lisbon if Istanbul – who were due to host in 2020 and then 2021 – becomes unviable owing to post-election civil unrest
- UEFA have held talks with Portuguese authorities over moving showpiece event
- The European football governing body are extremely reluctant to do this year
- Could be forced into a decision by civil unrest in Turkey post-election
UEFA have held talks about moving the Champions League final to Lisbon’s Stadium of Light if there is unrest in Istanbul following the presidential Turkish election.
Manchester City and Inter Milan are favourites to reach the final, which is due to be staged at the Ataturk Stadium on 10 June, but there are concerns about the prospect of civil disturbances if President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s two-decade reign is ended by this month’s polls.
UEFA would be extremely reluctant to switch the final, as the biggest event in European football has twice been moved from Istanbul due to Covid in 2020 and 2021, but may be forced to consider a late change as the safety of fans is their primary concern.
Mail Sport has learned that an informal approach has been made to the Portuguese Football Federation, who have previously stepped in with Lisbon and Porto staging the final in 2020 and 2021.
Erdogan trailed his main challenger Kemal Kilicdaroglu by five per cent in a tight poll ahead of the first round of voting on Sunday, which analysts suggested indicated that the three-horse race could go to a run-off between the pair which would be held on 28 May.
With the Champions League final to take place less than two weeks later UEFA may be forced to make a late decision, although sources at the governing body insisted on Thursday that there was no plan to move the game from Turkey.
The Champions League final is due to be held at the Ataturk Stadium in Istanbul next month
However, the venue could be switched to Lisbon due to post-election civil unrest in Turkey
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin could be forced to make a late decision over the venue
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