UEFA and the Football Association are in talks over moving the Champions League final from Istanbul to the UK after Turkey was placed on the country's travel "red list"

Manchester City and Chelsea qualified for the May 29 showpiece with respective victories over Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid this week.

On Thursday, UEFA said it remained committed to staging the game in the Turkish capital, despite the country being under a coronavirus lockdown until May 17 and having the eighth-highest amount of active COVID-19 cases in the world.

UEFA also intended to operate with a reduced capacity at the Ataturk Stadium, although new government rules announced on Friday mean City and Chelsea fans travelling would have to quarantine in government-approved hotels upon their return.

Turkey's red list status, which is effective from May 17 and will not be reviewed for three weeks, would also add significant complications for players returning to the UK before linking up with their national teams for Euro 2020 and the Copa America, unless exemptions can be secured.

Both international tournaments begin on June 11, 13 days after the Champions League final.

Speaking at a news conference on Friday, the UK's secretary of state for transport Grant Shapps said: "Fans should not travel to Turkey. 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."

Wembley is set to host the Championship play-off final on May 29, casting doubt over any prospect of moving the Champions League final to England's national stadium.

Sky Sports reported on Thursday that Aston Villa had offered to host the game at Villa Park, with Birmingham holding an appeal in being roughly equidistant between Manchester and London.

UEFA is understood to be taking time to reflect upon the red list decision before making its next move.

The European Super League seems to have crumbled before it started, with four of the 12 teams reportedly set to withdraw.

News broke on Tuesday evening, European time, that Manchester City, Chelsea, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid were preparing to pull out of the breakaway competition, which was announced amid much furore on Sunday. 

The Premier League's "big six" plus sides from Italy and Spain confirmed their intention to form a new tournament, which would not feature promotion or relegation. 

It is a move that has drawn widespread criticism from across the game and beyond, with governing bodies, governments, fellow football clubs, players and managers condemning the action.

After huge protests outside Stamford Bridge ahead of their game against Brighton and Hove Albion, Chelsea were reportedly the first team to crack, with rumours of their imminent withdrawal appearing in several credible publications.

The scheduled 20:15 GMT kick-off of Chelsea v Brighton was then put back by 15 minutes.

Similar reports followed regarding City, whose manager Pep Guardiola confirmed his opposition to the proposal while previewing Wednesday's meeting with Aston Villa.

Meanwhile, reports in Spain suggested LaLiga giants Barca and Atleti had also informed organisers of their intention to leave the competition, within 24 hours of Real Madrid supremo Florentino Perez giving an extensive interview in defence of the Super League that in hindsight looks to have done little to help its cause.

It remains to be seen if any punishment will be handed out to the clubs. UEFA, with the backing of FIFA, vowed to deal harsh sanctions to the teams involved, while in England, the Premier League promised to do "everything in its power" to stop the breakaway from coming to fruition. 

The 14 Premier League clubs left out of plans for a European Super League have "unanimously and vigorously" voted against the proposals as England's top flight considers "all actions available" to halt the breakaway competition.

Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham have announced plans to join a lucrative new tournament.

The 'big six' suggested this would run alongside the Premier League, in place of the Champions League.

But their guaranteed involvement in the Super League has been widely criticised as anti-competitive, with Premier League performance having no impact on European fortunes.

The Premier League and The Football Association (FA) each condemned the idea when it was first reported on Sunday.

And the two bodies held a meeting for the 14 remaining Premier League clubs on Tuesday, at which the league added it would hold the 'big six' "to account under its rules".

"The Premier League, alongside The FA, met with clubs today to discuss the immediate implications of the Super League proposal," a statement read.

"The 14 clubs at the meeting unanimously and vigorously rejected the plans for the competition.

"The Premier League is considering all actions available to prevent it from progressing, as well as holding those shareholders involved to account under its rules. 

"The league will continue to work with key stakeholders including fan groups, government, UEFA, The FA, EFL, PFA and LMA to protect the best interests of the game and call on those clubs involved in the proposed competition to cease their involvement immediately.  

"The Premier League would like to thank fans and all stakeholders for the support they have shown this week on this significant issue.

"The reaction proves just how much our open pyramid and football community means to people."

This meeting took place as City manager Pep Guardiola announced his opposition to the Super League in a pre-match news conference.

Liverpool counterpart Jurgen Klopp said on Monday he did not support the plans but added the club's Boston-based owners Fenway Sports Group were "reasonable people" and "never have to explain these decisions to me or ask for permission".

Prime minister Boris Johnson confirmed the UK Government's backing of football authorities over opposition to proposals for a breakaway European Super League.

In an emphatic response to widespread media reports, UEFA – together with the English Football Association (FA), Premier League, the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), LaLiga, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) and Serie A – publicised their collective opposition to the proposals. 

One of the sanctions put forward by UEFA was to ban the 12 teams from participating in its club competitions, namely the Champions League and Europa League.

An official statement from the newly formed European Super League followed late on Sunday, European time.

Six Premier League clubs – Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham – along with Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Inter, Milan and Juventus, are the teams involved.

Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich and Ligue 1 holders Paris Saint-Germain have not been included, with reports suggesting the sides had opted not to join.

The FA warned a European Super League would hurt football "at all levels", stating any closed-shop tournament would go against long-standing principles of the game.

Oliver Dowden, the UK Government's culture secretary, said clubs signing up for any such project would be neglecting their duty to supporters by taking away their say, and Johnson later expanded on his party's stance.

"Plans for a European Super League would be very damaging for football and we support football authorities in taking action," a statement on Johnson's official Twitter account read.

"They would strike at the heart of the domestic game, and will concern fans across the country. The clubs involved must answer to their fans and the wider footballing community before taking any further steps."

UEFA also alluded to FIFA's threat of barring players from the World Cup should they play for teams who choose to participate in a European Super League, and the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) said it had "substantial concerns regarding the wide-ranging implications of the proposed European Super League concept."

A statement read: "This proposed move would detract from the strength and joy of domestic football and diminish the game for the vast majority of fans across the continent.

"Clubs across all domestic competitions are not equal, each having differing financial starting points. However, success is never guaranteed, often cyclical and always earned.

"We have seen countless examples around Europe of teams outperforming their resources. In recent years, at home in the Premier League, this has resulted in unrivalled global entertainment and sporting drama.

"A system that rewards all clubs for success is paramount. In England, we are privileged to enjoy the most professional teams, the most professional players and in normal times, the highest aggregate attendances across the world. This success is achieved by working together and in solidarity."

The Premier League has strongly condemned the proposals for a new European Super League, which it says will "undermine the appeal of the whole game".

Widespread reports emerged on Sunday claiming that 12 clubs – including the Premier League's "big six" – are set to announce the new competition.

Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea and Arsenal are said to have been joined by teams from Italy and Spain in backing the plans.

In response, UEFA vowed to do everything in its power to block the proposal, and urged others to boycott what it described as a "cynical project founded on the self-interest of a few clubs".

One of the sanctions being considered by European football's governing body is to suspend the 12 teams from UEFA's club competitions.

The Premier League subsequently backed up UEFA's statement, confirming its opposition to the proposal.

A statement issued on the competition's official website read: "The Premier League condemns any proposal that attacks the principles of open competition and sporting merit which are at the heart of the domestic and European football pyramid.

"Fans of any club in England and across Europe can currently dream that their team may climb to the top and play against the best. We believe that the concept of a European Super League would destroy this dream.

"The Premier League is proud to run a competitive and compelling football competition that has made it the most widely watched league in the world. Our success has enabled us to make an unrivalled financial contribution to the domestic football pyramid.

"A European Super League will undermine the appeal of the whole game, and have a deeply damaging impact on the immediate and future prospects of the Premier League and its member clubs, and all those in football who rely on our funding and solidarity to prosper.   

"We will work with fans, The FA, EFL, PFA and LMA, as well as other stakeholders, at home and abroad, to defend the integrity and future prospects of English football in the best interests of the game."

This is not the first time this season that plans have been put forward to change the face of the game.

Late last year, the owners of United and Liverpool proposed a reformatting of the English game, dubbed "Project Big Picture" which, among other items, included handing more power to a select few teams in the top flight.

It was instantly dismissed by other Premier League clubs, with accusations that it was a blatant "power grab" in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on football.

United and Liverpool's American owners are reported to have been instrumental in the European Super League proposition.

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is reportedly set to be chairman, with John W. Henry (Liverpool), Joel Glazer (United) and Stan Kroenke (Arsenal) acting as vice-chairmen, alongside Juventus chief Andrea Agnelli.

Jose Mourinho and Gary Lineker led tributes from the football world to Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, after his death at the age of 99 was announced.

Tottenham boss Mourinho broke off from answering football questions in a pre-match news conference, saying the loss of the husband of Queen Elizabeth II would be felt far beyond British shores.

The Portuguese head coach said: "I’m sorry, I will answer your question. I just read some sad news about Prince Philip. I would like to express my condolences to the Royal Family and to be very honest, and say I have deep, deep, deep, the utmost respect for the Royal Family.

"I believe that it is not just this country that is going to be sharing these feelings, because I'm not English and I know that many like myself will have the utmost respect."

Mourinho, who has spent much of his coaching career in England, added: "I feel sad for the departure of Prince Philip on a personal basis, because I have only positive feelings for the meaning of the family. I feel very sorry. But unfortunately his life ends and we have to keep going."

Former England striker Lineker, now a renowned broadcaster, wrote on Twitter: "Sorry to hear that Prince Philip has passed away. Served this country over many, many decades. Sincerest condolences to Her Majesty, The Queen and The Royal Family. RIP Prince Philip."

The Premier League said it was "deeply saddened" by the news, adding: "As a mark of respect, players will wear black armbands and there will be a minute's silence before kick-off at all Premier League matches played tonight and across the weekend."

The Football Association, which the duke served as president from 1955 to 1957, said it felt "Immense sadness".

The FA asked royal and government authorities whether football should be allowed to continue this weekend and was given the green light.

"Following the sad passing of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, the FA has sought guidance from the Royal Household and Her Majesty's Government," the FA said. "We can confirm all football fixtures this evening and over the weekend (10-11 April) can continue at the discretion of competition organisers.

"The FA will be recommending that black armbands are worn and a minute's silence is observed before matches are played, including tonight's England women's international fixture in France. As a mark of respect, all flags at Wembley Stadium and St George's Park will fly at half-mast and the Wembley arch will also be lit."

Organisers of Saturday's Grand National said the race would go ahead at Aintree, preceded by a two-minute silence on the course, with "jockeys invited to wear black armbands".

Wimbledon, London's tennis grand slam, said it wished to "convey our deepest sympathy to Her Majesty The Queen and The Royal Family".

Imran Khan, the prime minister of Pakistan and former captain of his country's cricket team, wrote on Twitter: "My condolences on the demise of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Britain has lost a wise elder who was imbued with a unique spirit of public service. His role in promoting Pakistan-UK relations will always be remembered."

Prince Philip was a two-time former president of the MCC and a noted cricket enthusiast, playing what was described as an "instrumental" role in introducing trophies for winners of the County Championship.

Ian Watmore, chair of the England and Wales Cricket Board, said: "I'm sure I speak for the entire cricket family when I say how sad I am to hear of the passing of the Duke of Edinburgh.

"His passion for the game we all love was well known and the trophies presented to the men's and women's county champions are a tribute to his dedication to our sport. We owe him a great debt for his support and passion over many decades."

The Football Association (FA) has apologised to survivors of historic child sexual abuse after an independent review found it "did not do enough to keep children safe".

The Sheldon review examined the abuse of children within English football between 1970 and 2005 and criticised the FA for being "too slow" to implement protection measures between 1995 and May 2000.

Prior to the middle of 1995, the report said there was no evidence of the FA being aware of an abuse problem, but the period immediately afterwards came in for strong criticism.

“This was an institutional failing by the FA, for which there is no excuse,” the Sheldon review read.

It was also concluded that the FA "did not act appropriately" when serial sex offender Barry Bennell was released from prison in 2003 because it failed to put measures in place to prevent him from returning to football.

Bennell, a former coach at Crewe Alexandra and a scout at Manchester City, was jailed for nine years in 1998 for offences against six boys.

In November 2016, former Crewe player Andy Woodward waived his right to anonymity to detail how he was sexually abused by Bennell between the ages of 11 and 15.

That set in motion a chain of events, with numerous other survivors coming forward, and Bennell was jailed for 30 years in 2018 for offences against 12 boys, with a further four-year sentence coming in October 2020 when he was found guilty of abusing two more victims.

Reflecting on "a dark day for the beautiful game", FA chief executive Mark Bullingham addressed the survivors directly in a statement.

"You have the deepest admiration of the FA. Your bravery throughout this process has been incredible. Your voices have been so powerful," he said.

"I'd like to start by giving a heartfelt apology on behalf of the Football Association and the English game to all survivors, that this happened to you within football. No child should ever have experienced the abuse you did.

"What you went through was horrific and it is deeply upsetting that more was not done by the game at the time, to give you the protection you deserved.

"There are consistent features in this review. Of bystanders who didn't do anything. Of children that weren't believed. Of the damage that has been caused."

The review contacted all amateur and professional clubs in England and Wales and singled out Crewe, Manchester City, Chelsea, Newcastle United, Aston Villa, Southampton, Stoke City and Peterborough United for criticism.

City's association with Bennell came under the spotlight, along with their "wholly inadequate" response to connections with another paedophile, John Broome, who preyed on young boys while managing one of the club's feeder teams.

"The club's board of directors wishes to apologise publicly and unreservedly for the unimaginable suffering experienced by those who were abused as a result of the club’s association with these men," read a statement issued by City, who commissioned their own review into historic child sexual abuse in November 2016, led by Jane Mulcahy QC.

"More widely, the club expresses its sincerest admiration for every survivor – those that have spoken freely, those who spoke anonymously and those who are yet to disclose and indeed may choose never to do so.  

"Their bravery and strength must never be forgotten and always be acknowledged."

The Sheldon review makes 13 recommendations over how to keep children in football safe.

The FA has been encouraged to widen its system of spot-checks for grassroots club and review its safeguarding measures.

Additionally, the FA Board should have a "Children's Safeguarding Champion", with every Premier League and Championship club also having a full-time safeguarding officer.

"Having considered the review, we accept the findings and insights it provides," said the Premier League in a statement.

"The Premier League is committed to working in partnership with our clubs and their community organisations, the FA, statutory agencies and other key partners to address the conclusions and recommendations, which will further strengthen safeguarding arrangements across the game."

England boss Gareth Southgate is to take part in a study exploring the links between football and dementia and has urged other former professionals to do the same.

The 50-year-old has volunteered to join the HEADING study, led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

A second independently led study by the University of Nottingham, called FOCUS, is being backed by funding from the Football Association and Professional Footballers' Association.

It is hoped the research can further understanding of possible links between professional footballers and an increased risk of neurodegenerative disorders. Former England international Nobby Stiles had dementia when he died last year, while fellow 1966 World Cup winner Bobby Charlton has the disease.

"This is an incredibly important issue in our game and I'm very happy to play my part in supporting this research," Southgate said via the FA.

"Having turned 50 last year, I am now eligible to take part in the HEADING study, which could provide crucial and valuable insight to help people who play the game now and in the future.

"I would encourage any former professional footballer who is willing and able to take part in the HEADING or the FOCUS study to do so.

"Our involvement is absolutely essential if we are to have a greater understanding of this issue;

Atletico Madrid defender Kieran Tripper must serve the rest of his 10-week ban after his appeal was dismissed by FIFA.

The defender was issued a suspension and a fine of £70,000 on December 23 after England's Football Association found him guilty of breaking rules related to betting.

Trippier was charged with seven alleged breaches of rule E8(1)(b), four of which were proven.

The regulation states: "Where a participant provides to any other person any information relating to football which the participant has obtained by virtue of his or her position within the game and which is not publicly available at that time, the participant shall be in breach of this rule where any of that information is used by that other person for, or in relation to, betting."

Trippier denied the charges and his ban was put on hold while FIFA's Appeal Committee considered his case.

However, in a statement on Monday, football's governing body said: "The FIFA Appeal Committee has dismissed the appeal lodged by the club Atletico Madrid in a case concerning the player Kieran Trippier.

"As a consequence, the decision of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee passed on December 23 2020 is confirmed, extending sanctions imposed on the player by the English FA to have worldwide effect."

Trippier will now be unavailable for Diego Simeone's side until February 28.

The England international will miss LaLiga matches against Eibar, Valencia, Cadiz, Celta Vigo, Granada and Levante, but he will be back in time for the derby with Real Madrid, which is scheduled for March 7.

Trippier will also sit out the first leg of the Champions League last-16 tie with Chelsea at the Wanda Metropolitano on February 23.

The Football Association (FA) panel accepted Edinson Cavani did not mean to cause offence with a social media post which resulted in the player receiving a three-match ban. 

A three-man independent regulatory commission deemed Manchester United striker Cavani should only be imposed with the minimum sanction possible for a response to praise from a friend on Instagram. 

Following his decisive double in a 3-2 Premier League win at Southampton on November 29, Cavani used a Spanish word often used as a term of endearment in Latin America. He later deleted the post and apologised when it was made clear to him that the phrase could be construed as having racist connotations in English.

When the FA published the written reasons for Cavani's punishment on Thursday, it was suggested the 33-year-old - who arrived at Old Trafford in October - should have been given media training by United. 

Among the explanation for the verdict, the FA revealed: "The commission readily concluded that it was satisfied that there was no intent on the part of the player to be discriminatory or offensive in any way. 

"The commission were satisfied that the player wrote his reply in affectionate appreciation of a message from his Uruguayan friend and that it was not designed or intended to be racist or offensive either to his friend or others reading the content of the Instagram post. 

"Such a conclusion was supported by all the available evidence relevant to the circumstances in which the post was made and having regard to the character and response of the player." 

Cavani was fined £100,000 and ordered to attend a mandatory face-to-face education programme, as well as serving a three-game suspension. 

The commission also stated: "In light of the player's high profile in the game, his inability to speak English and the fact that he had approaching eight million Instagram followers, the commission were surprised that no such 'training’ had been specifically put in place for the player by his club. 

It did, however, acknowledge United had "taken steps to ensure that the player has a greater understanding of his responsibilities on social media".

Kieran Trippier's 10-week suspension for betting offences has been put on hold by FIFA following an appeal by Atletico Madrid.

The defender was issued a ban and a fine of £70,000 on December 23 after the Football Association found him guilty of four of seven alleged breaches of rule E8(1)(b).

The regulation states: "Where a participant provides to any other person any information relating to football which the participant has obtained by virtue of his or her position within the game and which is not publicly available at that time, the participant shall be in breach of this rule where any of that information is used by that other person for, or in relation to, betting."

Trippier, who denied the charges, was facing the prospect of missing 14 Atletico games up until February 28, a run that includes the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie with Chelsea.

However, the 30-year-old England international will be free to play again while the appeal process continues.

A FIFA spokesperson confirmed on Sunday: "Following the appeal and, specifically, the request for provisional measures lodged by the club Atletico Madrid, the FIFA Appeal Committee has approved to stay the extension of the suspension against Kieran Trippier until the procedure is over before the FIFA Appeal Committee."

Trippier will miss Sunday's game between Atleti and Deportivo Alaves after being left out of the squad.

The former Tottenham man has played in 19 matches in all competitions this season for the LaLiga title-hopefuls, who are a point behind Real Madrid at the top of the table but with three games in hand.

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