Football news: Istanbul could be STRIPPED of this season’s Champions League


Istanbul could be STRIPPED of this season’s Champions League final over Turkey’s military conflict with the Kurds in Syria… as UEFA consider calls, led by Italy, to move showpiece

  • UEFA are considering stripping Istanbul of the 2020 Champions League final 
  • Italy reportedly called on UEFA to strip Turkey of the showpiece occasion
  • It is scheduled to be held at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Basaksehir, Istanbul 
  • Italy’s Minister for Sport Vincenzo Spadafora wrote letter to the UEFA president

UEFA are considering stripping Turkey of this season’s Champions League final.

It comes in the wake of the country’s military operation against the Kurds across the Syrian border.

UEFA vice-president Michele Uva has confirmed they are considering calls, led by Italy, to relocate next year’s showpiece occasion from Istanbul’s Ataturk Stadium.

Vincenzo Spadafora, Italy's Minister for Sport, has reportedly called on UEFA to strip Turkey of this season's Champions League final

Vincenzo Spadafora, Italy’s Minister for Sport, has reportedly called on UEFA to strip Turkey of this season’s Champions League final

Istanbul's Ataturk Stadium is due to host the European showpiece on Saturday, May 30

Istanbul’s Ataturk Stadium is due to host the European showpiece on Saturday, May 30

‘We will play our part in full respect of the autonomy and independence of sport, but we certainly cannot replace the UN, EU, States, diplomacies, ambassadors and other political institutions,’ he told Tuttomercatoweb.

‘After that, UEFA decisions are made in conjunction with the UEFA Executive Committee and the President.’

Turkey players, including Everton striker Cenk Tosun, celebrated with a military salute during their 1-1 draw against France on Monday night, despite UEFA launching an investigation into a similar celebration during Friday’s 1-0 win against Albania.

The victory in Istanbul came amid Turkish army clashes with Kurdish fighters in northern Syria. 

Turkey players celebrated Kaan Ayhan's late equaliser with a military salute on Monday night

Turkey players celebrated Kaan Ayhan’s late equaliser with a military salute on Monday night

Turkey's players also performed the military salute during the qualifying match against Albania

Turkey’s players also performed the military salute during the qualifying match against Albania

Vincenzo Spadafora, Italy’s Minister for Sport, has written a letter to UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin posing the question of whether the showpiece event should go ahead in Turkey, according to Spanish outlet Marca.  

‘We must consider at this time whether it is appropriate [for Turkey to host the final] due to the very serious acts against the Kurdish civilian population,’ the letter read.

‘We must make the bravest decision and show, once again, that football is an instrument for peace.’ 

The 2020 final is scheduled to be held at the Ataturk Stadium, where Liverpool beat AC Milan on penalties in 2005, on Saturday, May 30 next year.

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