UEFA Strips Istanbul of Champions League Final due to Political Situation?

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The European Football Union (UEFA) is considering to relocate the next year’s Champions League final that was supposed to be held in Istanbul due to the political situation in Turkey, said Michael Uva, vice-president of the organization.

There is a growing number of those who want to, for safety reasons, change the host of the finals after the Turkish army carried out operations against the Kurds in the north of Syria. Some players were publicly backing the government’s actions. The German club St. Pauli had zero tolerance to this behaviour as they even went so far as to terminate Cenk Sahin’s contract.

We will maintain autonomy and independence in sport, but we certainly cannot replace the United Nations, the European Union, countries, diplomats, ambassadors, and other institutions of political authority. The joint decision will be made soon in cooperation with the Executive Board and the UEFA president, Uva said.

UEFA has already decided which cities will host the next three Champions League finals matches. St. Petersburg will be the organizer in 2021, Munich in 2022, and London in 2023.

As of now, the Champions League final is scheduled to take place in Istanbul on May 30, 2020, at Ataturk Stadium, the largest stadium in Turkey.

One of the most famous CL finals was played at the same stadium in 2005, when Liverpool won the trophy against AC Milan after a penalty shootout and an incredible comeback after trailing 3:0 at halftime.