Club football’s biggest competition, the UEFA Champions League has revealed the host to stage its final for the 2022-23 season. On Friday, UEFA announced that the 2023 Champions League final will be played in Istanbul, Turkey.
The city of Istanbul was originally scheduled to host the Champions League final in 2020, but the pandemic forced the authorities to play all matches from the quarterfinal stage onwards in Lisbon. Thus UEFA decided to stage the 2020-21 finals at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium. Again due to the ongoing pandemic and following the UK government’s Covid-19 guidelines which placed Turkey on the red list of counties for travelling from the UK, UEFA had to change the venue again to Porto, Portugal.
In addition, UEFA also announced the venues for the finals until 2025. The Gazprom Arena in Saint Petersburg, which also hosted matches during the UEFA Euro 2020, has been given the host duties for next year’s Champions League Final. It was originally scheduled to host this year’s final but will instead stage the showpiece event next year.
Meanwhile, Wembley in London and the Allianz Arena in Munich have been chosen as venues to host the 2024 and 2025 finals respectively. Both these stadiums have hosted Champions League finals earlier, Wembley in 2011 and 2013, Munich in 2012.
After missing out on hosting the CL final twice, Istanbul will consider itself lucky if there are no further setbacks. The Ataturk Stadium has seen some great encounters over the years and none bigger than the 2005 Champions League final between Liverpool and AC Milan. That particular final is considered as one of the greatest matches of all time, as it saw Liverpool make a comeback after being 3-0 down in the first half. The match ended 3-3 after extra time. Following this Liverpool went onto win the title on penalties.
Alongside announcing venues for the men’s Champions League finals for the next four years, UEFA also revealed the venue for the Women’s Champions League final in 2024. Athletic Bilbao’s home turf, San Mames, received the green light for the final in 2024. The finals in 2022 and 2023 will be held at Juventus Stadium in Turin and Philips Stadium in Eindhoven respectively.
The venues for the Europa League finals were also announced. Dublin and Bilbao, who missed out on hosting rights for the UEFA EURO 2020 due to the Covid-19 crisis, will be given opportunities to host the showpiece event. Dublin will host the 2024 Europa League final, while Bilbao will serve as host for the same in 2025.