Manchester City and Chelsea fans have been given hope of attending the Champions League final as talks are underway about switching the match to England.
The two clubs are set to meet in the final of Europe’s elite club competition on May 29 in Istanbul. But the government announced on Friday that Turkey has been added to England’s travel red list. Transport secretary Grant Shapps immediately warned fans not to travel to the match.
He said: “Red countries are those which should not be visited except in the most extreme of circumstances, where repeated testing and isolation in designated Government hotels on return is compulsory.
“Non-UK residents who have been in a red country in the last 10 days will still be barred from entering the UK.
“I must tell you that now due to concerns about Covid rates and variants of concern, Turkey, the Maldives, Nepal must regrettably be added to the red list.”
And he added at a press conference: “I’m afraid we are having to put Turkey on the red list.
“This will have a number of ramifications. First of all, it does mean with the regards to the Champions League, fans should not travel to Turkey.”
FA working towards Champions League Wembley switch
However, it might have a happy ending as Shapps revealed that dialogue has already begun about a new venue.
“The FA are in discussions with UEFA on this,” he added. “We are very open to hosting the final but it is ultimately a decision for UEFA.
“Of course the UK has already got a successful track record of football matches with spectators, so we are well placed to do it.
“We are very open to it but it is in the end a decision for UEFA to make, but given there are two English clubs in that final, we look forward to what they have to say.”
Wembley would seem the obvious venue to hold the event, with a limited number of fans allowed to attend.
UEFA stated earlier this week that there were no plans to move the final. But the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust are hoping to meet with UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin this week on the issue.
“Turkey has been added to the red list and therefore no CFC supporters can travel to watch the UCL final,” a CST tweet read. “We are meeting with the UEFA president this week and will request that the fixture is moved to the UK.”