Istanbul hopes to host 'historic' Champions League final despite uncertainty - Lunar Gaze Lunar Gaze: Istanbul hopes to host 'historic' Champions League final despite uncertainty
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Istanbul hopes to host 'historic' Champions League final despite uncertainty

Istanbul, May 29 (AFP/APP):Fifteen years after the "Miracle of Istanbul" that cemented Steven Gerrard's status as a Liverpool legend, the Turkish metropolis was supposed to host its second Champions League final on Saturday. But that was before the coronavirus pandemic wreaked worldwide havoc.

May 29, 2020

/ by APP
Istanbul hopes to host new, 'historic' Champions League final

Istanbul, May 29 (AFP/APP): Fifteen years after the "Miracle of Istanbul" that cemented Steven Gerrard's status as a Liverpool legend, the Turkish metropolis was supposed to host its second Champions League final on Saturday. But that was before the coronavirus pandemic wreaked worldwide havoc.

UEFA suspended Champions League matches until further notice in March as Europe's football competitions were hit hard by the virus.

The date and the venue of the final are now a source of uncertainty and alternative cities to Istanbul are being mentioned in media reports.


However, the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) and local fans still hope the final will be played in Istanbul in August as planned.
                  
"It would of course be a source of pride to host a new final in Istanbul," said Atakan Bodan, a member of the ultrAslan, Istanbul giants Galatasaray's main fan group. 
                  
"(Istanbul) is a city of football, we are passionate," said the football fan, who feels the suspension of the top football leagues has "robbed him of joy in his life".
                                   
All football fans remember the 2005 Champions League final in Istanbul and Liverpool's stunning comeback and penalty shoot-out victory over AC Milan after trailing 3-0 by half-time. 
                  
The final of the 2020 edition was set to be held on Saturday at the same venue, the Ataturk Olympic Stadium.
                  
Whether it will be the case is no certain. 
                  
The New York Times reported Friday that the final would be moved from Turkey but that Istanbul could be chosen as host of a future final, when it is safe for fans to travel from abroad in large numbers.
                  
Spanish radio Cadena Cope cited Lisbon as a possible fallback, while Sky Italy spoke of Germany.
                  
Asked by AFP, UEFA did not directly comment on the issue but said it was studying "all the options" for the format of the competition.
                  
"No decision has been taken yet but there should be at the Executive Committee meeting on June 17," a UEFA spokesman said. 
                  
The Turkish Football Federation were not immediately available for comment. 

- 'We are ready' -

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