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Chelsea, Manchester City fans condemn UEFA "greed"

Chelsea, Manchester City fans condemn UEFA
© Reuters
The governing body has been criticised for staging the match between the two Premier League sides in Portugal and for the ticket prices.

Chelsea and Manchester City supporters have joined together to condemn what they describe as UEFA’s “greed” over the staging of the Champions League final in Porto.

The BBC has reported that Chelsea have returned more than 800 tickets out of their allocation of 5,800, with the tickets not sold as part of a charter package.

Chelsea Supporters’ Trust (CST) has previously criticised UEFA’s decision to hold the match in Portugal, after a move to Wembley collapsed because the British Government would not grant quarantine-free access to sponsors, broadcasters and VIPs amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The pricing of tickets has also been criticised, with tickets ranging from just over £60 up to £515. The final was originally due to be played in Istanbul until the British Government placed Turkey on its high-risk ‘red list’ for international travel during the global health crisis.

Alongside City’s 1894 Group, the CST posted a tweet on Wednesday which read: “The @ChelseaSTrust & @WeAre1894 stand together against the lies, greed, hypocrisy and deception of @UEFA and their president Aleksander Ceferin.”

The post featured an image of Ceferin mocked up to look like Vito Corleone in the Godfather, under the banner ‘The Greedfather’.

“Supporters always sufferin’ under Ceferin,” it read.

UEFA and the Portuguese football federation (FPF) released a statement on Wednesday afternoon setting out more of the detail about what fans travelling on official packages could expect.

“The overwhelming majority of fans of the two finalist clubs will be travelling via organised charters, as was agreed by UEFA, the FPF and the Portuguese authorities,” the statement began.

The Estadio do Dragao will host the Champions League final on Saturday
The Estadio do Dragao will host the Champions League final on Saturday (Tim Goode/PA)

“A comprehensive and efficient mobility system is in place to welcome those travelling fans at the airport, and bring them directly to the fans meeting points, which can only be accessed with proof of a negative test result.

“At the fans’ meeting points, with the co-operation of the Municipality of Porto, and the investment of the two clubs, UEFA, and the FPF, there will be an array of food and beverage facilities, sanitary facilities, first aid stations, and activities organised by the two finalists to engage ticketholders throughout the day in the two most iconic venues of the city of Porto.

“From the fans’ meeting points, supporters will be brought directly to the stadium, where access will also only be granted with proof of a negative test with a significant contribution from the police authorities to ensure a smooth process.

“Visiting supporters will then also be brought back directly to the airport post-match. The Porto airport has guaranteed it will be able to accommodate the nearly 100 additional slots for flights transporting the multitude of ticket holders arriving and departing on match day.

“These measures aim to ensure that both the visiting fans and the local population can have a safe day.”

Supporters will need a PCR test 72 hours before their flights and then a further test after they have returned.

The capacity for the match at the Estadio do Dragao has been fixed at 16,500, one-third of what it can usually hold.

Last week CST released a scathing statement attacking UEFA’s decision to move the match to Porto.

“The UEFA executives making these decisions clearly have little empathy or concern with match-going supporters. They are deeply out of touch,” it read.

City, meanwhile, have announced they will host a large-screen showing of the match for up to 4,000 fans at their Academy stadium.

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