Russia, Germany compete to host 2021 Champions League final
NYON, Switzerland (AP) — Russia is bidding to host the 2021 Champions League final at St. Petersburg Stadium, a 2018 World Cup venue.
UEFA said Thursday the Russian and German soccer federations have expressed interest in the final, with Bayern Munich’s stadium in the running. Bayern lost the 2012 final to Chelsea at its home arena.
Both the 68,000-capacity home of Zenit St. Petersburg and 75,000-seat Allianz Arena in Munich will also host four games at the 2020 European Championship, including quarterfinal matches.
Munich has also been in contention to stage the final of Euro 2024, which Germany will host alone, though Berlin is the likely venue.
Russia’s only previous staging of Europe’s top club game was in 2008 at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow before it was renovated for the World Cup. Manchester United beat Chelsea in a penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw.
UEFA said formal bids for the 2021 Champions League must follow by Feb. 15. The UEFA executive committee will pick the host in June.
Three countries are competing to host the 2021 Europa League final: Austria (Vienna), Georgia (Tbilisi), and Spain (Seville).
The two champion clubs will meet in the UEFA Super Cup the following August in one of four countries hoping to stage the game. UEFA said they are: Belarus (Minsk), Finland (Helsinki), Northern Ireland (Belfast), and Ukraine (Kharkiv).