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Champions League final returning to Istanbul in 2020

It will be the first time since 2005 that the biggest game in European club football will be played in the Turkish city.

Liverpool were crowned champions when the final was last played there.
Liverpool were crowned champions when the final was last played there.
Image: PA Archive/PA Images

ISTANBUL’S ATATURK OLYMPIC Olympic Stadium will host the 2020 Champions League final, Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin confirmed in Kiev today.

The 76,000-capacity ground played host to Liverpool’s famous comeback from 3-0 down to AC Milan to win the Champions League on penalties in 2005.

Uefa have been under pressure to ensure future final host cities have the hotel and airport infrastructure to cope with the influx of fans, delegates and media for the biggest game in club football.

Liverpool have complained to Uefa after their fans have faced spiralling accommodation and travel costs for fans trying to attend Saturday’s final against holders Real Madrid in Kiev, the city which played host to the Euro 2012 final.

“They just don’t have the airport infrastructure and the hotel capacity to cope with an event of this size and there isn’t another major city within real hitting distance of it,” Liverpool chief executive Peter Moore told the Liverpool Echo.

It’s not only affected Liverpool fans but Real Madrid fans too. There will be lessons learned from this. Rest assured, I’ve raised this at the highest levels of Uefa.”

Ceferin had already reintroduced a tender process for bidding for finals since taking over as Uefa president from Michel Platini.

The decision to award the final to Kiev was made prior to Ceferin’s election as president in 2016.

Next season’s final will be held at the 67,000-capacity Wanda Metropolitano, home of Atletico Madrid.

© AFP 2018

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