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Turkey confident Istanbul will still host Champions League final

Istanbul (AFP) – Turkey is “confident” the Champions League final will still be held in Istanbul, the Turkish sports minister said Thursday, as UEFA considers other options because of the novel coronavirus.

UEFA’s decision could be made during an Executive Committee meeting on June 17.

The names of several cities, including Lisbon and Frankfurt, have circulated in the media while the Spanish capital’s mayor announced a possible candidacy from Madrid Tuesday.

Despite this speculation, the Turks are still hopeful.

“I have no doubt it will take place in the best way in Turkey. We’re confident that we will receive good news on June 17,” said Turkish Sports Minister Mehmet Kasapoglu.

“We are following this closely, it’s a very important matter,” he insisted during an interview with TRT Sport channel.

The final was set to be held on May 30 in Istanbul at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium, 15 years after the Champions League final there between Liverpool and AC Milan.

Turkish officials and fans insist the city remains the right place to host the game because of Turkey’s relative success in fighting the new pandemic.

Turkey has officially recorded around 173,000 cases of the virus, and 4,746 deaths.

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