=== (AGENDAWATCHDOG) === Plans for the all-English Champions League final between Manchester City and Chelsea in Istanbul later this month were thrown into chaos on Friday night by the Government’s decision to put Turkey on their travel red list.
The surprise development, which left officials at UEFA and the FA stunned, has major ramifications for the final and the European Championship.
Under current regulations, players of both clubs would have to quarantine for 10 days on their return from Istanbul – effectively ruling seven of Gareth Southgate’s players out of the tournament, which starts on June 11.
The FA are understood to be lobbying the Government to grant exemptions to Chelsea and City, which would enable the clubs’ personnel to travel to Turkey without quarantining on their return.
If that is refused, UEFA would have little option but to seek an alternative venue.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the Government are open to hosting the final in the UK, but UEFA are very reluctant to take the biggest club game of the season away from Istanbul for a second successive year.
The Government’s travel list will apply from May 17 and won’t be reviewed until three weeks later, making it too late for any change to affect the May 29 final.
Turkey’s red-list status also means that fans of the two clubs will not be permitted to travel, a major blow as 12,000 of 25,000 Ataturk Stadium tickets had been set aside for them by UEFA.