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Official: Champions League final between Chelsea and Manchester City to take place in Portugal

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FC Porto v SC Farense - Liga NOS Photo by Jose Manuel Alvarez/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Most of Europe seems to be on path to the “new normal”, with vaccinations helping with the decrease in infections and deaths caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. But this has also come at the cost of limiting movement for people around the continent, with a bunch of travel bans and blocks still in place to contain the spread of the virus.

One such development has had a direct effect on the Champions League final venue. Atatürk Stadium in Istanbul, Turkey was set to host the Champions League final between Chelsea and Manchester City on May 29. However the United Kingdom put Turkey on its red list and advised fans not to travel due to stringent quarantine requirements, while UEFA were also concerned about Turkey’s own lockdown measures that are in still in place at least this week.

Negotiations between the UK government, the English FA and UEFA started over finding a new venue for the match, but no agreement over quarantine exemptions was met in time. Enter the Portuguese FA (FPF) to offer a proper venue — the Estádio do Dragão, in Porto — to host the bout.

The 50,000-seat capacity stadium will host six thousand fans of each team, with ticket purchases to be made via club arrangements. According to UEFA, sales should start on May 24th, at 14:00 CEST.

On a personal note, this writer has been living less than 2 kilometres away from the Dragão. While it is unlikely that I will be able to afford a ticket, being so close to the club I love during one of their most important matches ever is a good enough feeling for me.

Let’s do this!