Turkey's Erdogan feels UEFA's decision to relocate Champions League final was political

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: May 20, 2021, 11:11 AM(IST)

Erdogan rejects deal Photograph:( AFP )

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According to Erdogan, talks with British ministers and UEFA failed to achieve any results and said that Istanbul was promised to host the Champions League final in 2023.

Last week, UEFA decided to move the Champions League final between English giants Manchester City and Chelsea to Porto from Istanbul so that fans from England could travel under COVID-19 restrictions. However, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday said that UEFA's decision was political.

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"A couple of years ago, we were notified that the final would be played in Turkey, but things took a sudden turn when two English clubs qualified to play the final," Erdogan said on Turkish television on Wednesday.

"We couldn't reach the UK Prime Minister in the meantime, he applied a lot of pressure on this issue."

According to Erdogan, talks with British ministers and UEFA failed to achieve any results and said that Istanbul was promised to host the Champions League final in 2023.

Earlier, Istanbul's Ataturk Olympic Stadium was scheduled to host the European Championship final, however, Turkey was put on  Britain's travel "red list", due to which no English fans could travel to the country. UEFA stepped in and decided to relocate the finals and thus chose Porto's Estadio do Dragao fit to host it. 

There had been discussions over moving the final to London's Wembley Stadium but UEFA said that despite "exhaustive efforts on the part of the (English) Football Association and the authorities, it was not possible to achieve the necessary exemptions from UK quarantine arrangements".

(Inputs from Reuters)

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