Man City fans may be left high and dry by UEFA’s Champions League final dilemma

Real Madrid v Man City: Pictures

Manchester City supporters could be forced into a frantic change of plans before this year’s Champions League final, providing Pep Guardiola’s side make it that far, with UEFA reportedly weighing up a change of venue amid fears of public unrest in Istanbul.

The Sky Blues will fancy their chances of making it through to their second Champions League final in three years, having earned a 1-1 draw at the Bernabeu on Tuesday. Real Madrid will visit the Etihad Stadium next week for the second leg, as the two sides prepare to do battle for a ticket to Istanbul.

If City prevail, supporters are sure to be speedy about making arrangements for the final, which is scheduled to take place on June 10. The Ataturk Olympic Stadium is set to host the occasion for the first time since 2005, when Liverpool produced their famous comeback against AC Milan.

The final was meant to be in Istanbul back in 2020, but organisers moved it to Lisbon due to the Covid pandemic.

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Concerningly for City fans, The Daily Mail claim that UEFA chiefs are once again weighing up whether to move this year’s showdown due to the threat of unrest in Turkey’s capital. The first round of presidential election is due to take place on May 14.

Civil disturbances have been touted if current President Recep Tayyip Erdogan loses to Kemal Kilicdaroglu, who currently has a 5 per cent lead in the polls. If the margin remains that slender, the election could be taken to a second round on May 28.

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Such a development would move a key election event even closer to the final. UEFA have reportedly made an ‘informal approach’ to the Portuguese FA over hosting the game in Lisbon if fan safety concerns arise.

If they get past Los Blancos, a last-minute change could turn into a logistical nightmare for City fans, who may have already booked their flights to Turkey by the time UEFA arrive at a final decision. The scramble for new travel and accommodation could leave some high and dry ahead of the Sky Blues’ biggest match of the season.

City enjoyed the lion’s share of possession at the Bernabeu, although they fell behind in the first-half due to Vinicius Jr’s powerful strike. Kevin De Bruyne came up with a similarly impressive goal after the break, making next week’s contest a winner-takes-all scenario.

Guardiola’s side will be desperate to avoid a repeat of last season’s second leg against Madrid, when they conceded twice beyond the 89th minute to force extra-time, at which point Karim Benzema netted a dramatic winner from the penalty spot.

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