Manchester City fans ‘nervous’ about getting to stadium for Champions League final

Manchester City fans have expressed concerns about getting to the stadium for the Champions League final in Istanbul after Liverpool supporters were left stuck outside last year’s final in Paris.

Last year, Liverpool fans found themselves penned against the Stade de France stadium’s perimeter fences ahead of the match against Real Madrid and were then tear-gassed by French police.

An independent review concluded in February found that Uefa bore “primary responsibility” for what almost led to a “mass fatality catastrophe”.

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This year, fans have been advised by Uefa to arrive at the stadium with “plenty of time” to spare.

In Istanbul, many fans are staying around the city’s famous Taksim Square, where several Irish bars are located.

The stadium is around an hour from the square by car, although the time it takes to travel can vary depending on traffic.

Free shuttle buses have been organised to take fans there from Taksim Square from 1pm – nine hours before kick-off.

Manchester City fans in Instanbul. Credit: PA Images

Will Hustler, 28, from Denton, Tameside, said he was “a little bit” worried about the journey.

“Because I’ve seen things about getting there nine hours early,” he said.

“I don’t know if it’s lies or if they’re trying to get everyone there, I don’t know.

“I’m a bit nervous.”

Mr Hustler said he was not too bothered about the stadium not selling alcohol.

“We can have a drink around here afterwards anyway,” he said.

His friend, Stephen Cavanagh, 39, also from Denton, said that Istanbul was “a bit rough”.

“It’s a bit rough over here,” he said.

“But we’re rough anyway.”

City fans outside an Irish pub in Istanbul. Credit: PA Images

Mr Cavanagh said he was not “too big on the drinking”.

“We come here, we stay here, we have some food, I’m not too big on the drinking,” he said.

“It’s all football, football, football.”

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Brian Tilley, 50, was born in Manchester but now lives in Crawley, West Sussex.

He said he was going to give himself “plenty of time” to get to the stadium after the experience of Liverpool fans at last year’s final in Paris.

“I’m going to go over there with plenty of time after last year’s experience,” Mr Tilley said.

“I’m going to get there early, there’s a fan park nearby so I’ll go in the afternoon.”

He added: “I know that a lot of fans that were in (Paris) struggled to get near the grounds”.

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