As the Covid-19 vaccine rollout continues throughout Europe, UEFA is ‘confident that fans will be able to attend the 2021 Champions League final in Istanbul, but at a reduced capacity.
Since the coronavirus outbreak in March 2020, the Champions League has been largely devoid of fans, save for a couple of group stage matches, with last season’s final played in an empty venue.
The pandemic has managed to affect the competition this season, with several fixtures being played at neutral grounds owing to travel bans in some countries.
According to ESPN, UEFA is “confident” that fans will be able to attend the Champions League final on May 29 at Istanbul’s Ataturk Olympic Stadium.
While it is doubtful that fans will be in attendance for the quarter and semi-final stages, with European travel scheduled to eventually open up in mid-May, a limited number of spectators could be in the stadium for the competition’s showpiece game.
The governing body of European football is also said to be optimistic that the traditional home and away leg format will be reinstated from the quarter-final stages onwards, rather than being hosted in neutral venues. However, each country’s government Covid-19 protocols regulate this.
Although preparations to have supporters in the stadium for the Champions League final are still in the works, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has stated that Euro 2020 host cities must be able to promise that spectators will be able to attend games or risk being withdrawn. Both Glasgow and Dublin are potentially in danger of losing their host city status as a result of their respective countries’ more conservative response to the pandemic.
“We have some possibilities in mind, but one truth is that playing every Euro 2020 match in a vacant stadium is out of the question. Any host must guarantee that their games will be attended by fans,” Ceferin said.