Without a Champions League final, Turkey loses 25 million euros

More than a year after the declaration of a pandemic, the coronavirus continues to wreak havoc on the sports industry. Turkey is one of the hardest hit territories today after losing the venue for the 2021 Champions League final and jeopardizing the Formula 1 Grand Prix in June.

This Thursday, UEFA confirmed that Istanbul will not host the final between Manchester City and Chelsea on May 29, so the Do Dragao Stadium, home of Porto, Portugal, will be the substitute.

The reason for this decision is that Turkey is on the red list of covid countries by the government of Great Britain. The color of said list, in which there are 39 nations from four continents, derives from the high risk of contagion, for which the British authorities require at least 10 quarantines for those who come from these destinations.

This rule limits the possibility of travel for England fans as well as the activity of the footballers themselves, since less than 10 years after the final they have planned national team matches around the European Championship.

According to Reuters, in Turkey there have been more than five million infections and more than 44,000 deaths from the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic, with an average of 15,144 positives per day.

Losing the Champions League final will mean an economic loss for Istanbul of between 25 and 56 million euros, which is the income range the host cities had from 2009 to 2019, according to reports from Mastercard, Telemadrid and governments locals themselves.

The data, compiled by portal Sports Inc, explains that Madrid had an income of 56 million euros to host the 2019 final, while in 2011 London pocketed 51 million, the second highest figure.

In the case of Lisbon, the last Portuguese place before 2021, it entered at 46.3 million euros at the end of 2014. This figure was divided into 54% for accommodation, 22% for restaurants and 7% in other activities tourism, reported the Portuguese Institute. Marketing Administration (IPAM).

However, in the context of the pandemic, UEFA has authorized the sale of only 6,000 tickets for Manchester City fans and 6,000 more for those of Chelsea, who will be able to travel to Portugal without the obligation to respect the quarantine, since this country is on the green list (of only 12 countries) of the British government.

Being a final between English teams, the idea of ​​London being the venue instead of Istanbul was also floated, but this did not happen due to the British authorities’ refusal to waive the 10-day quarantine requirements for international visitors, including UEFA staff. , reveals The New York Times.

This same media indicates that UEFA will reward Turkey by offering it the final of the Champions League 2023, while it is the centenary of the constitution of the said republic.

“It was not an option to deprive the fans of the opportunity to see their teams compete after the year they have endured,” European body president Aleksander Ceferin said of the move. in Portugal.

Formula 1, also at risk

The Istanbul Grand Prix is ​​also at risk of being canceled due to the British Red List. The event is scheduled for the weekend between June 11 and 13, but 14 days later the French Grand Prix is ​​set.

“We are evaluating the situation and more details will be provided in the coming days,” said Formula 1 in this regard. Already in the 2020 season, Turkey stayed on schedule and held its circuit on November 15, but in camera.

It should be noted that Turkey entered the 2021 calendar after the cancellation of the Canadian circuit, which resigned for the second consecutive year due to strict government policies against covid-19.

If the Istanbul circuit drops out of Formula 1 this year, there will be no place to replace him due to the rush, as there is less than a month until it is held; Considering this, the Championship would remain in 22 dates and fall short of its goal of being the first season with 23 in history.

Turkey was also withdrawn from the World Junior Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Championship, after the discipline’s International Federation announced the change of venue to Sofia, Bulgaria, on May 11.


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