UEFA insists Champions League final will take place in Istanbul despite lockdown

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LONDON (Reuters) – The Champions League final will definitely take place in Istanbul on May 29 despite Turkey going into a COVID-19 lockdown, UEFA said on Thursday.

A resurgence of COVID-19 infections has prompted the Turkish government to impose a 17-day lockdown which will end on May 17.

With the growing possibility of English Premier League clubs Manchester City and Chelsea reaching the final scheduled for the Ataturk Olympic Stadium, questions have been raised about the logistics of the venue.

However, UEFA insist they have no plans to move the match.

“The UEFA Champions League Final will take place in Istanbul on 29 May with a limited number of spectators and we are assured that the temporary lockdown which is in force until 17 May should not have any impact on the match,” a statement said.

“UEFA will continue to work closely with the Turkish Football Federation and the local and national authorities to stage the match safely.

“Further information regarding the capacity for the match and ticketing details will be communicated soon.”

The Ataturk Olympic Stadium was due to host last year’s Champions League final but the pandemic forced a change of plans with the latter rounds and final taking place in Lisbon.

The Europa League final, which could also feature Premier League clubs Arsenal and Manchester United, will take place in the Polish port city of Gdansk.

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