Thursday, November 23, 2017

Non-European city could host Champions League final – UEFA

SoccerNews in UEFA Europa League 20 Oct 2016

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New UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin is open to the possibility of the Champions League final being played outside of Europe.

Seen similar ideas have cropped up in other sports, with London hosting NFL matches and the Premier League once considering the introduction of a 39th round of games which would have been played abroad.

While the latter is no longer under consideration, European’s premier competition football could potentially broaden its horizons and Ceferin even floated the possibility of New York hosting the continent’s biggest match.

“It might be an idea, but we have to speak about it,” said the Slovenian.

“To go from Portugal to Azerbaijan for example is almost the same or the same as if you go to New York.

“It’s a European competition so let’s think about it.”

Ceferin also revealed that he will bring an open bidding process back with respect to the hosting of the Champions League and Europa League finals, though he insisted that the usual 1945 BST kick-off time will not be changing even if it benefits large markets such as China.

“From a financial point of view it’s not ideal,” Ceferin added. “We should think also about other markets, but how to do it exactly I’m not sure yet.

“China is financially interesting and the US is not just financially interesting, but football is growing there.

“China is not asleep [during the Champions League final] because it’s Saturday and they can watch. But there are many problems concerning that with the calendar of the leagues.

“National leagues are too important. You have the Premier League which is very strong.

“The bidding process should be very clear because if you get the Champions League finals or Europa league finals as a political favour then it’s not okay.”

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