Estádio do Dragão, Porto. Photo: FC Porto

Official: Porto to host Champions League final with 12,000 fans in attendance

UEFA has confirmed that the 2020/2021 Champions League final between Manchester City and Chelsea will be played on Saturday, May 29 at Porto’s Estádio do Dragão in front of a crowd of 12,000 people – 6,000 fans from each team, who will nonetheless be kept “inside a bubble” and arrive and leave on the same day.

The decision was made “following an offer to stage the game by the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) and the Portuguese authorities,” Europe’s governing body for football revealed this week.

As it explained, UEFA discussed moving the match to England but, “despite exhaustive efforts on the part of the Football Association and the authorities, it was not possible to achieve the necessary exemptions from UK quarantine arrangements”.

This is when Portuguese authorities stepped in and “worked quickly and seamlessly with UEFA to offer a fitting venue for the final and, as Portugal is a green list destination for England, fans and players attending the final will not have to quarantine on their return home”.

Strict rules will still be in place, nonetheless.

Portugal’s Minister of State and Presidency announced at the end of the Council of Ministers on Thursday that fans arriving from abroad to attend the match will be kept in a “bubble”.

They will arrive and leave on the same day on charter flights and will have to present negative Covid-19 tests, Mariana Vieira da Silva said. Fans will also have reserved seats at the stadium, she added.

Meanwhile, Portugal is also planning to allow some fans back for the last round matches of this season’s Liga NOS, in what it is calling a test for next season to figure out how football fans can gradually be allowed back into stadiums.

Said the minister, attendance will be restricted to 10% of each stadium’s capacity, and only fans of the home side will be allowed to attend.

michael.bruxo@algarveresident.com