EFL open to moving play-offs to allow hosting Champions League final at Wembley

Villa Park has also been offered to UEFA to host the all-English final between Chelsea and Manchester City on May 29; transport secretary Grant Shapps said fans will not be able to travel to Turkey for the showpiece in Istanbul after the country was added to the government's 'red list'

Wembley
Image: Wembley is currently due to host the Championship play-off final on May 29, on the same day as the Champions League final

The three EFL play-off finals could be rearranged to allow the all-English Champions League final to be staged at Wembley.

Manchester City's clash with Chelsea is currently scheduled to take place on Saturday, May 29 in Istanbul.

But, after the Government announced Turkey had been added to the 'red list' of high-risk countries on Friday, calls for a change of venue for the all-Premier League tie have intensified.

UK citizens returning from 'red list' countries are required to quarantine at a Government-approved hotel for 10 days.

Wembley is due to host the Sky Bet Championship play-off final on May 29, with the League One and League Two equivalents arranged for the following two days.

Championship play-offs
Image: The Championship, League One and League Two play-off finals are set to be staged at Wembley at the end of this month

It is understood the EFL would consider all options - including altering the arrangements for those fixtures to accommodate the Champions League final - should they be contacted by UEFA.

That could mean the matches being played on different dates, or at alternative venues.

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There has so far been no approach from UEFA and the governing body is continuing with preparations for the Champions League final to be played at the Ataturk Stadium as planned.

Turkey is currently in lockdown amid a surge in coronavirus cases.

Speaking on Friday, transport secretary Grant Shapps said the British Government was "very open to hosting the final" and that the Football Association was in discussions with UEFA.

He also told fans not to travel to Istanbul.

The Ataturk Stadium in Istanbul will host this year's Champions League final on May 29
Image: The Ataturk Stadium in Istanbul is scheduled to host this year's Champions League final on May 29

The FA declined to comment on the situation when approached on Saturday morning, while UEFA's stance had not changed.

"I'm afraid we are having to put Turkey on the red list. This will have a number of ramifications. First of all, it does mean with regards to the Champions League, fans should not travel to Turkey," Shapps told Friday's press conference.

"The FA are in discussions with UEFA on this. We are very open to hosting the final but it is ultimately a decision for UEFA.

"Red countries are those which should not be visited except in the most extreme of circumstances."

City and Chelsea booked their places in the showpiece event earlier this week after overcoming Paris St Germain and Real Madrid respectively.

Two days after the Champions League final, Northern Ireland are scheduled to play a friendly in Turkey.

The Irish FA has declined to comment on that fixture at this stage.

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