MX23RW : Friday, July 30 18:30:03| >> :60:2086:2086:

Spectators frustrated over Champions League final uncertainty

Spectators frustrated over Champions League final uncertainty
© Reuters
Manchester City and Chelsea will contest the showpiece, which has been moved to Porto.

Football fans have hit out at the confusion over whether they will be able to attend the Champions League final.

In announcing the May 29 showpiece between Manchester City and Chelsea had been moved from Istanbul to Porto on Thursday, UEFA confirmed that up to 6,000 supporters from each club would be allowed entry.

Since then the situation has been thrown into uncertainty by confirmation that Portugal is to extend its lockdown restrictions until May 30. If that includes travel, that could prohibit any British tourists from entering the country, regardless of Portugal being added to the UK's 'green list' from May 17.

The Estadio do Dragao in Porto is now hosting the final
The Estadio do Dragao in Porto is now hosting the final (Mike Egerton/PA)

Adding to the confusion are comments from a Portuguese government minister suggesting that all supporters attending the final would have to fly in and out of Porto within 24 hours. They would also be transported to and from the game in 'bubble' situations.

This comes after a number of supporters have already booked independent travel and accommodation.

Kevin Parker, general secretary of the Manchester City Official Supporters Club, said: "There is no clarity, it is very frustrating.

"UEFA came out with this statement saying how wonderful they were, that the game was going to Porto, and each club were going to get 6,000 tickets, and tickets would soon be on sale. And on that basis everybody started booking their flights and accommodation.

"Then we saw the words spoken by the Portuguese minister yesterday, which came as a shock. Since then UEFA has been very quiet. It's a nightmare, to be honest.

"Everything is up in the air. Can we go Friday and come back Sunday or do we have to go Saturday?

"UEFA seemed to be suggesting they were delighted they were able to sort things for the supporters but it would seem they haven't.

"We're as much in the dark as we were before the UEFA statement. They've also been very quiet on it which doesn't help at all."

A tweet from the Chelsea Supporters Trust read: "We share the same frustrations of #CFC supporters. The situation regarding the #UCLfinal is a farce. We will seek clarity & will relay any info we receive."

UEFA has not commented on the latest situation after being contacted by the PA news agency. It is understood the European governing body took its decision to move the game based on assurances fans would be allowed in.

It was certainly one of the key points in its statement confirming the move to Porto's Estadio do Dragao, which was contentiously chosen ahead of Wembley.

"To deprive supporters of the chance to see the match in person was not an option," UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said fans were at the forefront of thinking when the game was moved
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said fans were at the forefront of thinking when the game was moved (Niall Carson/PA)

Portugal's existing rules were due to expire on Sunday but a statement on its government's website on Thursday said the "state of calamity" would now run until May 30.

Under this regulation, entry to Portugal is only allowed for returning residents, according to information on the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office website.

However, Portuguese cabinet office minister Mariana Vieira da Silva said in a briefing on Thursday she had "no information to give yet" when asked if restrictions would apply to incoming British tourists.

Regarding the Champions League final she said fans "will come and return on the same day, with a test done, in a bubble situation, on charter flights".

In quotes on the BBC website, she added: "There will be two fan zones and from there they will be moved to the stadium and from the stadium to the airport, being in Portugal less than 24 hours."

Manchester City and Chelsea met at Wembley in the FA Cup last month
Manchester City and Chelsea met at Wembley in the FA Cup last month (Adam Davy/PA)

It is anticipated formal announcements will be made by the Portuguese government over the weekend, after which UEFA may be in a better position to issue clarifications.

UEFA decided to move the final from Istanbul after Turkey was placed on the UK government's 'red list' for international travel last week.

Lengthy discussions were held over the possibility of switching to Wembley but the UK government was unable to agree to UEFA's request for 2,000 quarantine exemptions for sponsors, VIPs and broadcasters. Portugal then emerged as the alternative.

Parker said: "UEFA seem to have switched it to Porto so they can get 2,000 VIPs in but, as it stands now, the suggestion is they're going to be the only people in the stadium. It's ridiculous."

ID:447439: cacheID:447439:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:restore:11170:
Restore Data
Share this article now:
Did you know...?
UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin during the draw in October 2020
Read Next:
Champions League final spectators face strict travel requirements
>

rhs 2.0
Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
ChinaChina1891138
JapanJapan174627
United StatesUnited States14161141
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia10141034
AustraliaAustralia921122
Great BritainGreat Britain69924
Today's Olympic highlights header

Saturday's key events


TRIATHLON
· After silvers in both the men's and women's events, Team GB will be fancied to get on the podium again in the mixed relay (11.30pm-1am)

SWIMMING
· Touted as Michael Phelps's successor, Caeleb Dressel already has two gold medals from these Games and he will be going for a third in the men's 50m butterfly final (2.30am)
· It is Katie Ledecky vs. Ariarne Titmus III in the women's 800m freestyle final, with Ledecky entering as firm favourite (2.46am)
· Great Britain will be heavily fancied to add another gold medal to their swimming haul, having produced by far the fastest qualifying time for the mixed 4x100m medley relay final (3.43am)

ATHLETICS
· Dina Asher-Smith is one of three British women in the 100m semi-finals (3.01am-3.20am), and will hope to challenge for a medal in what is likely to be a star-studded final (1.50pm)
· The inaugural Olympic 4x400m mixed relay event concludes with Great Britain one of the eight finalists going for gold (1.35pm)

RUGBY SEVENS
· Team GB's dreams of an unlikely gold are still alive in the women's event as they face France in their semi-final (3.30am). The winners will face either New Zealand or Fiji in the gold medal match later in the day (10am)

SAILING
· Gold medals are up for grabs in the windsurfer - RS:X finals. Emma Wilson participates for Team GB in the women's final (6.33am), while Tom Squires is in action in the men's (7.33am)

TENNIS
· Following his shock semi-final defeat, ending his hopes of a Golden Slam in 2021, Novak Djokovic battles for bronze against Pablo Carreno Busta (7am)
· The women's singles event reaches its conclusion with the gold medal match between Belinda Bencic and Marketa Vondrousova

> Today's schedule in full
Todays Game Header Right
Tables

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!