Why is the UEFA Champions League final 2023 in Istanbul?


Manchester City are bidding to win their first UEFA Champions League title when they face Inter Milan in the 2022/23 final.

Pep Guardiola’s side are heavy favorites to achieve their long-term goal against Simone Inzaghi’s underdogs ahead of an intriguing clash in Istanbul.

Despite fans from both sides facing a struggle to secure tickets and logistical travel issues, the final is set to be a spectacular event.

UEFA’s decision to bring the final back to Istanbul for the first time since Liverpool’s incredible comeback victory over AC Milan in 2005 was met with mixed reactions, particularly as elections in Turkey created a tense backdrop for the occasion.

However, European football’s governing body has been unwavering in its determination to keep the game in the country following calendar shake-ups in recent years.

Where is the 2022/23 Champions League final?

The final takes place on June 10 at Istanbul’s Ataturk Olympic Stadium, which is home to Karagumruk and the Turkey national team.

Following a stadium renovation in 2020, the Ataturk has a seated capacity of around 76,000.

Why is Istanbul hosting the final?

The 2023 Champions League final was initially scheduled to be played at Wembley Stadium in England, but the Covid-19 pandemic forced UEFA into a string of venue changes.

The 2021 final was scheduled to take place at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium but was moved to Porto two weeks before the match due to coronavirus-related issues in the city, and UEFA has maintained its pledge to offer an alternative final to Istanbul.

Despite concerns over the host being changed again at the last minute due to political unrest amid the recent presidential election, UEFA confirmed there will be no change.

“UEFA would like to clarify the position on the 2023 Champions League final,” it said. “The 2023 UEFA Champions League final will take place in Istanbul as scheduled, on 10 June 2023. UEFA has no discussions to the contrary with any political institutions, governments or national football associations.”

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