July 20 – Third time lucky? Istanbul will host the 2023 Champions League final, UEFA confirmed, with Dublin and Bilbao awarded major clubs finals as well after they dropped out of staging Euro 2020 matches.
Istanbul has been stripped of the Champions League final hosting rights twice because of the global health pandemic with the 2020 and 2021 finals both shifted to Portugal at the eleventh hour. In 2023, however, the showpiece match should finally be staged in the Turkish capital.
Istanbul famously hosted Liverpool’s comeback win against AC Milan in 2005. Referred to as the ‘Mirtacle of Istanbul’, Liverpool were 3-0 down at half time but came back to level the game 3-3 at full time and then win on penalties.
Istanbul will also host the 2021 and 2022 group stage draws for the Champions League. The Turkish Football Federation said: “The selection of Turkey as the host of an outstanding start-of-season event such as the UEFA premiere reinforced the confidence in our country in organising international events.”
Next year’s Champions League final will be held in Saint Petersburg. London’s Wembley Stadium, the scene of disgraceful scenes before, during and after the recent Euro 2020 final, will host the 2024 final with Munich’s final pushed back to 2025.
The Irish capital has been rewarded with the 2024 Europa League final. A year later, Bilbao welcomes the match. Both cities had to withdraw from hosting Euro 2020 because local health authorities didn’t green light fans attending the matches, a requirement imposed by Europe’s governing body. Bilbao will also play host to the 2024 Women’s Champions League final.
Seville and Budapest will stage the Europa League final in 2022 and 2023 respectively.
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