The top bosses of European football governing body UEFA are ready to move this season’s Champions League final to Wembley.
That is according to a report by The Sun, who insist the all-English final between Manchester City and Chelsea will be staged in this country if the UK government can offer a ‘certain set of guarantees.’
The Sun revealed that Prime Minister Boris Johnson made the plea to UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin to move the contest to home soil after Turkey, the country which is currently pencilled in to host the final, was placed on the government’s red list as far as travelling abroad is concerned.
Being placed on the red list means that Chelsea and City players, staff and supporters would be forced to quarantine upon their return to the UK.
Although Istanbul has been busy putting plans in place to host the biggest match in club football, UEFA believe that is makes more sense for fans of both clubs not ton travel to the country, with Covid-19 cases rising, unlike they are currently in the UK.
Therefore, it makes far more sense for the contest to be staged on home turf, allowing supporters a realistic chance of being able to attend.
This week, a whole host of grounds across England have been linked with the prospect of staging the final, including Aston Villa’s Villa Park and the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The governing body is also not considering the idea of the final being staged at Scotland’s Hampden Park or the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.
Bosses insist that Wembley, which has staged two Champions League finals in the past (since its renovation), is the only suitable venue, with 22,500 supporters expected to be allowed to attend.
However, should official confirmation come through that the Champions League final can, indeed, be staged at Wembley, agreements would have to be reached with both the FA and the EFL, as the Championship Play-Off final is scheduled to be played on Saturday, May 29 – the same day as the Champions League final.
To accommodate the Champions League final going ahead on the originally planned date, the Championship final could be brought forward by 48 hours, allowing Chelsea and City’s players to train on the Wembley turf ahead of the game.
In a final hurdle that UEFA must get over to allow the final to be staged at Wembley, the government must offer assurances that the media, broadcasters, sponsors and VIPs will be allowed to attend without facing any sort of quarantine issues.
As well as that, it is being reported that UEFA will ask the clubs who were involved in this season’s tournament to give up part of their prize money to meet the £20million-plus costs already incurred by the Turkish authorities ahead of the planned final in Istanbul.
A decision is expected to be made within the coming days.