London Mayor backs bid to host 2023 Champions League final at Wembley


(Reuters) – London Mayor Sadiq Khan has backed a Football Association (FA) bid for Wembley Stadium to host the 2023 Champions League final to mark the centenary of the original ground’s opening.

FILE PHOTO: Mayor of London Sadiq Khan poses during an interview with Reuters at an event to promote the start of London Tech Week, in London, Britain, June 10, 2019. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

The new Wembley, which was finished in 2007 and has a capacity of 90,000, previously hosted the final of Europe’s premier club competition in 2011 and 2013 — the latter coinciding with the 150th anniversary of the FA’s foundation.

“London is the sporting capital of the world and the Mayor wants to bring the biggest and the best events to the city,” a spokesperson for the Mayor of London told Reuters.

“He is proud to support the FA’s bid for Wembley to host the final of the 2023 UEFA Champions League.

“In 2023, it will be 10 years since London last hosted the Champions League final and the centenary of the opening of the original Wembley Stadium.

“Wembley will host the final of the men’s UEFA Euro 2020 and Women’s Euro 2021, and so bringing the biggest club game in world football back to London would make this a great period for sport in the capital.”

The deadline for the submission of bids for the 2023 final was July 1 and European soccer’s governing body UEFA said it would announce the bidders in due course.

“The decision will be taken at the Executive Committee Meeting on Sept. 24,” a UEFA representative told Reuters.

The FA declined to comment on whether it had submitted a bid to host the final.

This season’s Champions League showpiece will be held in Istanbul’s 76,761-capacity Olympic Stadium on May 30, 2020.

The stadium last hosted the final in 2005 when Liverpool, the current European champions after a 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur in Madrid last season, famously beat AC Milan in a penalty shootout having been 3-0 down at halftime.

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; editing by Ken Ferris

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