EFL 'considering' rearranging play-off plans that could impact Portsmouth, Sunderland, Swansea, Barnsley and Blackpool

The Football League play-off finals could be rearranged to accomodate this season’s Champions League final, reports suggest.

Saturday, 8th May 2021, 3:30 pm
The Football League play-offs are due to take place at Wembley between May 29-31. Picture: MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images
The Football League play-offs are due to take place at Wembley between May 29-31. Picture: MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images

According to PA news agency, the EFL would consider altering plans so Manchester City’s clash with Chelsea could take place at Wembley.

The Champions League final is scheduled to be played in Istanbul on Saturday, May 29.

However, after Turkey was added to the government’s ‘red list’ of high-risk countries amid the coronavirus pandemic, calls are being made to find a different venue for the all-Premier League encounter.

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The final falls on the same weekend when the play-off finals at the national stadium go ahead.

Wembley is due to host the Championship play-off final on the same day as the Champions League final, with the League One final the following day and the League Two clash on Monday, May 31.

Pompey are hoping to be in the League One play-off final. They can book their spot in the top six with a victory over Accrington on the final day of the regular 2020-21 season tomorrow.

PA news agency reports 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.

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 an alarming surge in coronavirus cases.

Speaking on Friday, transport secretary Grant Shapps said the government was ‘very open to hosting the final’ and that the FA was in discussions with UEFA.

He also told fans not to travel to Istanbul.

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 the regards to the Champions League, fans should not travel to Turkey,’ Shapps said.

‘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.’