Champions League Final: Government 'still hopeful' match will be played in Wembley

The government is "hopeful" that this year's Champions League Final will be played in Wembley, the sports secretary has said.

Oliver Dowden has been in discussions with European football's governing body Uefa in a bid to bring the match to England after the original plan for Turkey to host was brought into question over the UK's traffic light system for travel, which would restrict flights to the country.

The government offered Wembley as a potential location for the match, due to coronavirus rules in the UK which could allow the stadium to hold 21,000 fans - as is planned for the FA Cup final.

Asked whether negotiations were continuing, Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Secretary Mr Dowden said: "I had very constructive discussions yesterday with the president of Uefa.

"We stand ready and we're working through the FA - we cleared the way to get Wembley available if Uefa want to take advantage of that."

WATCH: Oliver Dowden on negotiations with Uefa over Champions League final

It is understood however that Uefa wants the government to waive quarantine rules for around 3,000 officials and sponsors to attend the match, something the government is thought to have been resisting.

Mr Dowden said he is "still hopeful we might be able to get [the Champions League Final here], but it is "important" that the UK protects the integrity of its quarantine system.

It is understood that Porto's Estádio do Dragão stadium in Portugal is being floated as an alternative to Wembley, because it will be on the UK's green list, meaning both fans and officials could attend.

The government hopes it can bring the Champions League final to Wembley, and have fans inside. Credit: PA

Pressed further on the progress of negotiations, he said: "I don't think it would be productive to get into the detail of discussions that are going on.

"We are still discussing it with them but given the huge progress we've made, and we've seen just this week that the prime minister is announcing that fans can come back into stadiums."

He added: "If we can allow this game to happen whilst protecting the integrity of our quarantine system then of course we'd like it to happen."

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