Fan officials at both clubs, MPs and public health experts have all called for this month’s all-English showdown to be moved from Istanbul to the UK, fearing coronavirus-related travel restrictions prevent many supporters from participating and that those who attend will catch the disease while in a country struggling to contain it.
UEFA had previously ruled out winning the Ataturk Stadium final for a second year in a row, but face new pressure to do so following City and Chelsea’s semi-final triumphs.
“Of course we would like them to do that,” said Kevin Parker, Manchester City Supporters Group general secretary.
Citing the UK government’s key role last month in the downfall of the European Super League, he added: “Maybe UEFA owes the UK government a favor and what better way to do it. “
Cliff Auger, chairman of the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust, added: “This is the ideal scenario.”
MP Clive Efford, a member of the digital, culture, media and sports select committee and former shadow sports minister, said: “It makes absolute sense that if this isn’t going to be the huge spectacle that ‘he always has been, he should be. played at Wembley and Istanbul is expected to be offered the final at a later date.
City and Chelsea are expected to receive more than 4,000 tickets each for a full third Atatürk Stadium and Efford has said he will ‘mock’ Britain’s roadmap if thousands of fans make it to Turkey in the current climate.
This view was supported by MPs Kevin Brennan and Layla Moran, as well as public health experts Professor Paul Hunter from the University of Norwich and Professor Keith Neal from the University of Nottingham.
Many fans may not be able to attend the match anyway if, as expected, Turkey is not added to the “green list” of government countries when it lifts its ban on foreign travel on the 17th. may. final will have to self-isolate up to 10 days after his return.
Auger said: “I am self-employed and it would cost me a fortune if I had to stick to it, other than the cost of going to Istanbul and back.
“That would set the block for me, I think. That would prevent me from going there, that’s for sure.
Parker predicted that enough City fans would be willing to quarantine themselves to sell the club allowance, suggesting some supporters would rather quit their jobs than miss the biggest game in club history.
“Listen, this is the Champions League final: Manchester City is playing in the Champions League final. People will make almost any sacrifice, ”he said.