Champions League final heading for New York?

Date published: Friday 21st October 2016 10:16

Champions League: To go to New York

The new UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin admitted the Champions League final could be played outside of Europe in future years.

Ceferin, 49, who was appointed as the new chief last month, says he will will revive an open bidding process to host the final, and he says he is open to it being staged in New York.

As it stands, UEFA awards the finals without any formal tendering.

“It might be an idea but we have to speak about it,” said Slovenian Ceferin, who polled 42 of the 55 votes to defeat Dutchman Michael van Praag

“To go from Portugal to Azerbaijan for example is almost the same or the same as if you go to New York.

“It’s a European competition so let’s think about it.”

The 61 finals have all been held in Europe to date, but Ceferin said travelling to the US would be “no problem” for fans.

“The bidding process should be very clear because if you get the Champions League finals or Europa League finals as a political favour then it’s not OK,” Ceferin added.

The former Slovenian Football Association chief did though sat he would not jeopardise the competition by changing kick-off times, usually 19:45 BST, to suit worldwide markets.

<> on September 22, 2016 in Rome, Italy.

“From a financial point of view it’s not ideal,” Ceferin said. “We should think also about other markets, but how to do it exactly I’m not sure yet.

“China is financially interesting and the US is not just financially interesting, but football is growing there.”

The Champions League final, which will be held in Cardiff next year, has been played on a Saturday since 2010 and is the competition’s only game not played in midweek.

Ceferin said one idea to increase viewers would be to also move the semi-finals to a weekend.

“There are some ideas about that – China is not asleep because it’s Saturday and they can watch,” he said.

“But there are many problems concerning that with the calendar of the leagues.

“National leagues are too important. You have the Premier League which is very strong.”

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