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Manchester City vs. Chelsea 2021 Champions League Final Moved to Porto Amid COVID

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVMay 13, 2021

SHAUN BOTTERILL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

The 2021 UEFA Champions League final between Chelsea and Manchester City on May 29 has been moved to Estadio do Dragao in Porto, Portugal.

ESPN's Tom Hamilton reported Thursday the decision comes because of COVID-19 travel restrictions that would have prevented English fans from traveling to Turkey for the championship match. UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin commented on the change of location:

"I think we can all agree that we hope never to experience a year like the one we have just endured. Fans have had to suffer more than 12 months without the ability to see their teams live and reaching a Champions League final is the pinnacle of club football.

"To deprive those supporters of the chance to see the match in person was not an option, and I am delighted that this compromise has been found. After the year that fans have endured, it is not right that they don't have the chance to watch their teams in the biggest game of the season."

Officials tried to move the game to England, but the UK government wouldn't grant a quarantine exemption to the estimated 2,000 people who'd need to travel into the country for the match, per Hamilton.

A final decision about how many fans will be allowed to attend the UCL final in Portugal is pending, according to BBC Sport.

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"I hope the final will be a symbol of hope at the re-emergence of Europe from a difficult period and that the fans who travel to the game will once again be able to lend their voices to showcase this final as the best in club football," Ceferin said.

Chelsea and Manchester City will be facing off for the third time in six weeks when they take to the pitch in the final. The Blues won the first two meetings, 1-0 in the FA Cup semifinal on April 17 and a 2-1 victory in a May 8 Premier League fixture.

City are seeking their first Champions League title, while Chelsea previously won the UCL in 2012 and lost in the 2008 final.

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