Madrid’s mayor said the Spanish capital is in talks to host the Champions League final this year if organizers decide to move it from Istanbul because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The biggest game in European football was set to be played at Istanbul’s Ataturk Stadium on May 30 before the tournament was postponed due to the virus outbreak at the last-16 level in March.
“I know plans are being made and I want to announce the full support of the city hall for the final of this Champions League in Madrid,” said Mayor Jose Luis Martinez in Tuesday’s Marca newspaper as telling 13tv network.
There has been no formal statement about whether the re-arranged final will be held in Istanbul. A report from the New York Times last month said the showpiece event will not be held in the Turkish city, and consideration was given to alternative venues.
UEFA, who declined to comment on Almeida ‘s remarks, said a working group had been set up and looked at “a variety of options,” adding that more clarity would be provided by a meeting of the Executive Committee on 17 June.
As was the case in major European leagues like the Bundesliga, which returned last month, the final is likely to be held without spectators.
Spain is among the countries worst affected by the coronavirus pandemic, with more than 27,000 deaths recorded. Madrid has had the highest death and infection rate in the world.
But with the infection rate dropping markedly, normal life in Spain is slowly resuming.
“We have the right conditions for stability, we have the infrastructure and public services to keep it and it would send a message to the world that after all the turmoil we’ve lived, Madrid is not giving up and is on the rise again,” Almeida said.