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    Chelsea and Man City fans could face Champions League final heartache with just 1,000 each set to be allowed to Portugal

    THOUSANDS of Chelsea and Manchester City fans could get the green light to see the Champions League Final – if Uefa gets the Portuguese authorities to back down.Euro chiefs are ready to confirm the May 29 clash will be played at Porto’s Estadio do Dragao after failing to get agreement with the UK Government over guest and sponsor numbers being allowed into the country if the game was played at Wembley.
    Manchester City and Chelsea will battle for the Champions League trophy on May 29Credit: Reuters
    Porto’s Estadio do Dragao will host the Champions League finalCredit: Reuters
    But while Portugal will lift its nationwide ban on crowds for the final weekend of the domestic season on May 19, numbers will be capped at 10 per cent of capacity.
    With the Dragao holding a maximum of just over 50,000 fans, that would mean a mere 5,000 spectators for European football’s showpiece occasion.
    In turn, it would likely result in barely 1,000 fans of each of the two Premier League clubs being sold tickets, with others going to local spectators and the “Uefa family”.
    But Uefa is putting pressure on the Portuguese to allow up to 40 per cent of the Dragao capacity to be used.
    That would mean around 20,000 in Porto, with the two clubs each receiving between between 4,000 and 6,000 tickets.
    Such a number is far below the potential 9,000 per club allocation had the game been played at Wembley but still significantly better than if the cap remains at 10 per cent.
    Robert Lewandowski lifts the Champions League in 2020Credit: Reuters
    Fans’ groups from the two clubs met virtually with Uefa President Aleksander Ceferin to plead their case yesterday  ahead of the final decision, now expected today.
    Dom Rosso of the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust explained: “Uefa said it will ‘take care’ that supporters will be able to attend the final with priority given to Chelsea and Manchester City.
    “I emphasised that allocation/prices for loyal supporters must be reasonable and fair. 

    “Uefa confirmed that they must honour sponsor contracts and added that lots of football supporters (worldwide) will also want to attend and that this must be taken into account. 
    “The CST stated that sponsor allocations must be kept to a minimum.”
    Just seven players have managed to score a hat-tricks of CL hat-tricks
    Wembley welcomes 8,000 fans for Spurs vs Man City in Carabao Cup final More

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    Thomas Tuchel claims ‘amazing’ Chelsea predecessor Frank Lampard ‘laid the foundations’ of his success with Blues

    THOMAS TUCHEL has paid tribute to Frank Lampard for ‘laying the foundations’ for his successful start to life at Chelsea.Less than six months into the job, the German has already secured a pair of major cup finals for the Blues and a top-four finish is well within his grasp.
    Thomas Tuchel has praised the work of predecessor Frank LampardCredit: Andy Hooper-The Daily Mail
    Chelsea icon Frank Lampard was sacked from the dugout earlier this yearCredit: AFP
    Tuchel took over from Lampard in late January with the club ninth in the Premier League, five points off a Champions League place.
    But the Blues’ midfield legend had finished fourth last season despite a transfer ban, while bedding in an number of young players.
    And Lampard was credited by his successor with the groundwork that has led to a strong end to the campaign.
    Tuchel told reporters: “Frank had an amazing record in the group stage of the Champions League, won all the FA Cup games.
    “He’s laid the foundation to get us to finals and we don’t feel ashamed or have any fear to say that out loud. It felt like that on the first day.
    “I am aware Frank created his own legacy as a player and made it bigger as a coach.

    “We stepped in halfway through the season and tried to fulfil the job he had begun.”
    The pair spoke couple of days after Lampard was replaced by the ex-Paris Saint-Germain boss, sending a message which Tuchel also praised.
    He added: “Frank resembles everything you think about Chelsea.
    “You think about Frank Lampard, the way he is, how he played football… This shows his character and the message he sent was a pleasure to receive.”
    Chelsea face Arsenal on Wednesday night knowing a win will put them on the verge of a guaranteed top-four finish.
    Tuchel has demanded his stars maintain their effort levels in the fixture despite the weekend’s FA Cup final sitting on the horizon, as well the Champions League showdown with Manchester City.

    The coach stated: “We are in the middle of the race for top four, we have two finals to come and you can only achieve it if you are on a consistently high level mentally and physically, with a good atmosphere, and this is what we try to keep now.
    “Nobody is allowed now to drop one per cent, because that’s what makes it special right now.
    “But now is not finished. It is not the time for praise, not the time for reflection, it is the time to continue and finish the job.”
    ⚽ Read our Football live blog for the very latest news from around the grounds

    Thomas Tuchel admits his personal sacrifice has been worth it now Chelsea are in the Champions League final More

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    Man City vs Chelsea ref for Champions League final sent off Pep Guardiola after furious row during 2018 Liverpool loss

    MANCHESTER CITY’S Champions League Final fate could rest in the hands of the referee who sent off Pep Guardiola the last time they met.Spaniard Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz left Guardiola seething when he wrongly disallowed a Leroy Sane ‘goal’ that would have seen City only 3-2 down on aggregate to Liverpool at half-time in their quarter-final second leg at The Etihad in 2018.
    Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz has been chosen to referee the Champions League FinalCredit: Getty
    The Spaniard left Pep Guardiola raging after he officiated them in the 2018 against LiverpoolCredit: REUTERS
    Sane was ruled offside but TV pictures showed the ball had fallen to the German from a deliberate touch by Liverpool’s James Milner and therefore should have stood.
    Guardiola, furious and incredulous on the touchline, launched into Lahoz as he made his way off the field at the interval.
    That saw the City boss shown the red card and banished from the bench.
    Guardiola insisted he had not insulted the referee and had been ‘polite and correct’, although he branded Lahoz, 44, ‘a special guy’ who ‘likes to be different’.
    The City chief said afterwards: “In the right moment we miss the right decisions.
    “The referee is a special guy, he likes to be different.
    “Whenever people see the things, he will decide the opposite.”

    Uefa charged Guardiola for his conduct and he was given a one-match touchline ban with a further match ban suspended.
    But that was the only occasion in four City matches refereed by Lahoz that the Etihad side have lost.
    He was also in charge of wins over Napoli, Monaco and Dynamo Kiev.
    Lahoz, fourth official at Liverpool’s 2019 Final win over Spurs, has only taken charge of two Chelsea matches.
    Both of those were in Portugal, a 2-1 defeat for the Blues against Porto at the Estadio do Dragao that is likely to stage the Final and a 1-0 win at Sporting Lisbon.
    Clement Turpin of France will take charge of Manchester United’s Europa League Final against Villarreal in Gdansk on May 26.
    ⚽ Read our Football live blog for the very latest news from around the grounds

    Man City chief Pep Guardiola claims third Prem title his hardest yet amid coronavirus chaos More

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    Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus face two-year Champions League ban after Uefa launch probe into Super League plot

    REAL MADRID, Barcelona and Juventus are facing two-year Champions League bans – after Uefa launched a formal disciplinary probe into the failed Super League plot.Uefa President Aleksander Ceferin is determined to make the three rebel leaders pay a heavy price unless they dissolve the breakaway competition.
    Uefa could hit Juventus, Real Madrid and Barcelona with two-year Champions League bans
    That means two-season bans from playing in any European competitions is on the Uefa agenda.
    And Ceferin demonstrated he is playing hardball by giving the green light to the next stage of Uefa processes.
    In a statement, Euro chiefs in Nyon announced: “In accordance with Article 31(4) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations, UEFA Ethics and Disciplinary Inspectors have today been appointed to conduct a disciplinary investigation regarding a potential violation of UEFA’s legal framework by Real Madrid CF, FC Barcelona and Juventus FC in connection with the so-called ‘Super League’ project.
    “Further information regarding this matter will be made available in due course.”
    That article relates to the absolute power and discretion of the Uefa President, general secretary or the ruling executive committee to launch disciplinary proceedings.
    The confirmation of action is proof of Ceferin’s desire to make the three rebel clubs publicly recant and apologise for their attempts to broker the elite ESL competition.
    Ceferin publicly welcomed the withdrawal and apologies by the Prem Big Six, along with Atletico Madrid, AC Milan and Inter.
    They were hit on Friday by agreeing to each pay £1.44m up front and then five per cent of their next season’s Uefa competition earnings, taking the potential fine to £7m.


    But there will be no further action and the nine clubs will be welcomed back into the Uefa fold and allowed to rejoin the European Club Association.
    Madrid, Barca and Juve, though, have refused to fall into line and accused Uefa of applying ‘unacceptable pressure, threats and offence’ to make them ‘abandon the project’.
    The trio said Uefa’s actions were ‘intolerable under the rule of law’ but the very real threat of missing out on more than £250m of income over two years may be enough to bring them to heel.

    What happens now the European Super League has collapsed More

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    Champions League final close to being confirmed for Portugal as UK Government refuses to allow Uefa’s VIP guests attend

    WEMBLEY’S hopes of staging the Champions League Final were fading fast as negotiations between Uefa and the Government remained at loggerheads.SunSport has reported how Euro chiefs have decided the clash between Chelsea and Manchester City on May 29 will be moved from Istanbul after Turkey was placed on the Government’s travel “red list”.
    Porto’s Estadio do Dragao is now tipped to host the Champions League finalCredit: Reuters
    UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson had offered to host the May 29 showpiece but the government is reluctant to let in as many visitors and guests as Uefa wantsCredit: AP
    PM Boris Johnson offered to host the game in this country and Uefa chiefs identified Wembley as their preferred venue.
    But European football’s governing body’s requirement for relaxed border rules to allow nearly 2,000 overseas visitors and guests to attend the game have been the sticking point in discussions.
    Government and scientific chiefs are reluctant to allow so many into the country without quarantine requirements of some sort.
    The UK was ready to give the OK for some media and broadcast outlets as well as “essential Uefa personnel” to be allowed into the country.
    But the demands for access for sponsors and VIP guests – including football chiefs from around the world – appear to have proved a step too far.
    It means Uefa is close to confirming it will switch to its back-up option of Portugal, which hosted last season’s “final eight” tournament in Lisbon.
    But the Portuguese FA is proposing Porto’s Estadio do Dragao, with a full-house capacity of just 50,000, as its preferred stadium venue.
    Currently, fans are still barred from grounds in the country, although the rules are expected to be relaxed.

    Yet it is believed the Dragao will be allowed to have just 25 per cent of its capacity, meaning fewer than 13,000 fans in total.
    That will potentially meaning just 3,500 supporters of both Chelsea and City allowed to travel to see the game, although Portugal’s “green list” status means they will not have to quarantine on their return.
    A final decision could come as early as this evening but unless there is a sudden shift from either Uefa or the Government it seems that the Wembley option – which would have seen an attendance of up to 22,500 – is increasingly unlikely to be adopted.
    Just seven players have managed to score a hat-tricks of CL hat-tricks
    ⚽ Read our Football live blog for the very latest news from around the grounds
    Champions League final chaos for Chelsea and Man City fans as Turkey added to UK travel red list More

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    Thomas Tuchel says he trusts Uefa and Chelsea bosses to make right decision on where to stage Champions League final

    THOMAS TUCHEL says he trusts Uefa and his Chelsea bosses to make the right decision on whether to stage the Champions League final in Istanbul.Blues boss Tuchel insists he will be happy to make the journey to Turkey later this month to face Man City despite fears over a Covid-19 outbreak which has forced the country into lockdown.
    Thomas Tuchel believes the right decision will be made regarding the Champions League final venueCredit: Getty
    The German claims it is not up to him whether the match should be switched to England to help protect safety of travelling fans.
    And he adds he has enough on his place to worry about managing the team.
    Tuchel said: “I didn’t know that there is an argument or like a discussion around it. Honestly I play wherever it’s played.
    “We should have played in Istanbul last season but it was not in Istanbul, it was in Portugal then, and now again the situation is pretty heavy in Turkey at the moment.
    “I think anything can change quite rapidly these day, so let’s be open. At the moment we prepare for the travels to Turkey.”
    Asked if he supported the match remaining in Turkey he added: “Support will mean that I get involved in this and I do not get involved in these discussions or thoughts.
    “I have enough to prepare myself and the team for the upcoming matches.
    “I have full trust in everybody who decides this that we do a reasonable decision. 

    “And it was like this when we were not quite sure where we play against Porto in the first and second leg.
    “That’s why I trust all people here at Chelsea who are involved in this and all other people who decide what’s going to happen.
    “But in the moment I prepare for a final in Istanbul.”
    Champions League final chaos for Chelsea and Man City fans as Turkey added to UK travel red list More

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    Boris Johnson calls on Uefa to allow UK to host Champs League final – with St James’, Tottenham and Emirates available

    BORIS JOHNSON urged Uefa to switch the Champions League final to the UK – for the sake of the fans.Turkey will be on the UK’s Covid ‘red list’, so Chelsea and Manchester City supporters face ten days’ costly hotel quarantine on return from Istanbul after the May 29 spectacle.
    Boris Johnson is desperate for the UK to host the Champions League final on May 29Credit: Reuters
    And PM Johnson told SunSport: “The Champions League is the pinnacle of European club football.
    “And with two English teams in the final, it would be a great shame if fans were unable to attend.
    “It would be brilliant to host it here if we can. I want to help supporters of both clubs see their team in action.”
    Johnson’s intervention strengthened hopes of the game being moved after Uefa were blindsided by the red-list decision and left considering a U-turn.
    If the game was played over here up to 15,000 fans could attend.
    The UK Government will grant clubs a quarantine exemption should the final remain at the Ataturk.
    That is a relief for England boss Gareth Southgate, who otherwise faced losing Phil Foden, Raheem Sterling, John Stones, Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell until four days before the June 13 opener against Croatia.
    There is no issue entering Turkey but English fans coming back would have to fork out nearly £2,000 EACH before being allowed back home.
    Chelsea advanced to the final after beating Real Madrid 3-1 on aggregate over two legsCredit: AFP
    Manchester City proved to be too good for Paris Saint-Germain as they beat the French side home and awayCredit: EPA
    And Transport Secretary Grant Shapps warned: “It does mean fans should not travel to Turkey. The FA are in discussions with Uefa already.
    “We are very open to hosting the final but that’s ultimately for Uefa.
    “We already have a successful record of matches with spectators and given two English clubs are in that final we look forward to hearing what Uefa say.”
    Uefa were planning to allow up to 6,000 fans from each club at the game, now scheduled to have a crowd of 25,000.
    But Turkey is in the grip of a new Covid wave of the virus.
    Uefa chief Aleksander Ceferin has thanked Johnson for helping save football from the threat of the breakaway Super League last month.
    Government legal threats helped persuade Big Six rebels to heed the fan backlash and quit the £4.6billion project.
    Ceferin said: “Boris Johnson is aware football fans are  working class. The reaction was very logical — he cared what happened to football, because that would affect the people, of course.
    Just seven players have managed to score a hat-tricks of CL hat-tricks

    The Government’s threat of a “legislative bombshell” helped persuade the Big Six rebels to heed the fan backlash and turn their backs on the £4.6bn project.
    And Ceferin, who spoke directly with the PM, said: “Boris Johnson is aware that football fans are from the working class.
    “They live hard, and they spend the last money to watch football matches, which is their passion, relaxation, which is part of European culture, part of history. 
    “It seemed to me the reaction was very logical – he cared what happened to football, because that would affect the people, of course.
    “It was very responsible from the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to take a sharp stand on the side of the fans, not only because of the culture and love of football, but also because it ensures order in the country.”
    Johnson also contacted Uefa to offer up the UK as an option for staging extra matches at Euro 2020, although in the event there will be just one extra last 16 knock-out tie at Wembley.
    The Emirates is one possible destination where the Champions League final could take placeCredit: Getty

    “It was very responsible from the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to take a sharp stand on the side of the fans.”
    Johnson also offered up the UK as an option for staging extra Euros games but there will be just one extra last-16 Wembley tie.
    Any CL final move would be welcomed by Chelsea and City fans, who are facing a four-hour flight each way, costs of hotels and match tickets —  and now that quarantine.
    Wembley is being used for the Play-Off Finals on the weekend of the Champions League showpiece.
    But Uefa had been offered the use of St James’ Park for the Euros by the FA, with other options including the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium or The Emirates.
    Champions League final chaos for Chelsea and Man City fans as Turkey added to UK travel red list More

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    Do away goals count in Europa League semi-finals? Full Uefa 2020/21 rules

    THE Europa League semi-finals are here tonight – Manchester United are as good as through, but Arsenal have some work to do.But how do away goals work in the competition?
    Credit: AFP or licensors
    Do away goals count in extra time of Champions League and Europa League matches?
    AS ever, away goals count if the game finishes a draw on aggregate after 90 minutes.
    Uefa were considering changing the rule but for now it will remain the same.
    So extra time can only happen if the same reverse scoreline appears in both games and the two teams have the same amount of away goals.
    Here’s the Uefa guidelines on what happens next: “For matches played under the knockout system, if the two teams involved in a tie score the same number of goals over the two legs, the team which scores more away goals qualifies for the next stage.

    “If this procedure does not produce a result, i.e. if both teams score the same number of goals at home and away, two 15-minute periods of extra time are played at the end of the second leg.
    “If both teams score the same number of goals during extra time, away goals count double (i.e. the visiting team qualifies).
    “If no goals are scored during extra time, kicks from the penalty mark determine which team qualifies for the next stage.”
    So if we reach extra time and EITHER team scores within the added 30 minutes, there is NO chance of the game going to penalties.
    If the away team manages to score in extra time, away goals kick in and the home side must net twice to progress.
    Do away goals count for Champions League and Europa League ties at neutral venues?
    Liverpool, Man Utd, Man City, Tottenham, Chelsea and Arsenal have all, at some stage, played the away legs of their European ties at neutral venues.
    However, away goals WILL apply to all two-legged ties in Uefa competitions this season.
    After Chelsea netted against Real Madrid in Spain, a 0-0 draw or victory will be enough to see them through to the final. More