KIEV, May 24, 2018 – There is a “theoretical possibility” of a non-European city hosting the final of the prestigious UEFA Champions League according to UEFA President, Aleksander Ceferin.
With this year’s Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool set to take centre stage in Kiev on Saturday, the cost of travel and accommodation has been a real nightmare and this has raised questions about the suitability and capability of certain European cities hosting the event especially with the influx of fans from not just the teams involved but all over the world.
Speaking in Kiev, after the UEFA Executive Committee meeting on Thursday, Ceferin admitted that ticketing has been one of the problems bedeviling the final.
“It is a big problem that we know about,” said Ceferin. “It is everywhere and it has happened before. We cancelled the tickets that are found on the black market, but the thing is that I am not sure if it is possible to completely prevent that thing to happen.”
The 2020 final has been awarded to Istanbul, ahead of Lisbon. In 2005, Istanbul's Ataturk Olympic Stadium was the stage for Liverpool's memorable comeback victory against AC Milan as they clinched the title.
However, there is still the chance of taking the Champions League final to maybe New York or the Middle East sometime in the future.
Ceferin said: “It is too early to say anything about that. I mentioned it as a theoretical possibility. For now it is just that and let’s see what happens in the future.
“We have to know that the Champions League is a global competition, watched by I think more people outside of Europe than in Europe altogether. So let’s see. I can’t give you a final answer.”
In the meantime, Lyon clinched their third consecutive Women’s Champions League title on Thursday with goals from Amandine Henry, Eugénie Le Sommer, Ada Hegerberg and Camille Abily helping them see off Wolfsburg.