Seeing your team in a Champions League final is a dream come true moment for all football fans, but Chelsea and Manchester City fans face a very different kind of experience this year if they make the trip to Porto.
UEFA have confirmed that the final on May 29 won’t be held in Istanbul, as was originally planned. It will now be played at Porto’s Estadio do Dragao, given that travel in and out of Portugal is easier.
What can Chelsea and Manchester City fans do while in Porto?
The answer to this question is not much, at least for the 6,000 fans of each team who have a ticket.
“Those who come to the final of the Champions League will come and return on the same day, with a test done, and will be in a bubble situation and will come on charter flights,” Mariana Vieira da Silva, Portugal’s cabinet affairs minister, has said, according to Reuters.
“There will be two fan zones and from there they will be moved to the stadium and from the stadium to the airport, being in Portugal less than 24 hours.”
Those who aren’t travelling in order to go to the match will be able to visit Portugal as any other person would, but there will still be local and national rules to respect.
Why was the Champions League final moved from Istanbul to Porto?
The fact that Turkey is on the UK government’s red list and that Portugal is one the green list is the main reason for the change in venue.
Other options than Porto were considered too, such as Wembley Stadium. However, the London venue is already scheduled to host Football League playoffs that weekend.
Furthermore, it would have been difficult for staff, sponsors and foreign media to comply with the UK’s quarantine rules.
With Portugal, that’s not an issue, although the fans travelling with a ticket won’t be able to fully enjoy the city as they ordinarily would.