UEFA ‘confident’ fans will be able to return for the Champions League final

UEFA are ‘confident’ that spectators will be able to attend the 2021 Champions League final in Istanbul, albeit in a reduced capacity, as the Covid-19 vaccine roll out continues across Europe.

Bar a handful of group stage matches, the Champions League has been completely devoid of supporters since the coronavirus outbreak in March 2020, with last season’s final played in an empty stadium.

The competition has continued to be disrupted by the pandemic this term, with a selection of fixtures played at neutral venues due to travel restrictions in certain countries.

Paris Saint-Germain v Bayern Munich - UEFA Champions League Final
Bayern Munich won the 2019/20 Champions League in an empty stadium | David Ramos/Getty Images

However, according to ESPN, UEFA are ‘confident’ that fans will be able to attend the Champions League final at Istanbul’s Ataturk Olympic Stadium on 29 May.

Although it is unlikely that supporters will be in attendance for the quarter final and semi final stages, with European travel pencilled in to gradually start opening up in mid-May, this could pave the way for a restricted number of spectators to be in the stadium for the competition’s showpiece event.

European football’s governing body are also said to be hopeful that the normal home and away leg format can resume from the quarter final stages onwards, as opposed to being held in neutral venues. However, this remains down to government Covid-19 protocols in each country.

While plans to have supporters in the stadium for the Champions League final are still tentative, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has said that Euro 2020 host cities must be able to guarantee that fans can attend games or face being dropped. Both Glasgow and Dublin are reportedly at risk of losing their host city status due to the two countries’ more cautious approach to the pandemic.

“We have several scenarios, but the one guarantee we can make is that the option of playing any Euro 2020 match in an empty stadium is off the table. Every host must guarantee there will be fans at their games,” Ceferin said.

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