So the Champions League Final has been now been moved from Turkey to Porto.
The decision, made by UEFA, shows that they have no real interest in the fans.
During the European Super League talk, UEFA and media companies promoting themselves as the protectors of the game, speaking up for the so-called legacy fans never sat right. And our misgivings have been proven with the decision to hold the final in Portugal.
The easy option would have been to host it at Villa Park or Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium. That way it would have been far for those fans lucky enough to get a ticket, would have been better for both Manchester City and Chelsea’s preparations and would have reduced the carbon footprint of football.
Villa Park and the Millennium Stadium would have been solid neutral venue options. Similar distances from Manchester and London, it would have been fair for both sides.
But UEFA ran into an issue in discussions with the UK Government.
Two weeks ago Indian delegates were in London for a G7 summit.
Government guidance at the time gave an exemption for people representing a foreign country, meaning they did not have to quarantine. Two of the delegates tested positive for COVID19 after a meeting with the Home Secretary Priti Patel.
Questions were asked at the time why representatives from foreign countries were exempt from quarantine rules – Afterall, the virus does not care what job you do.
So when UEFA came calling, looking to host the final in England, they were told that delegates, sponsors, officials, etc would need to quarantine in line with UK legislation. And UEFA said “no”.
UEFA tried to present itself as the party sticking up for fans in the ESL debacle. But when push came to shove they made their decision on where to host the final based on they put their delegates and sponsors first.
The decision to host in Portugal is based purely on the ease and comfort of their sponsors and officials. It is not a decision made in the best interests of the fans.
So UEFA’s mask has already slipped, and “legacy fans” are stuck with a £600+ bill for flights alone.
UEFA do not care about the fans.