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Madrid's Metropolitano stadium to stage 2019 Champions League final
September 20, 2017 / 4:06 PM / 3 months ago

Madrid's Metropolitano stadium to stage 2019 Champions League final

NYON, Switzerland (Reuters) - Atletico Madrid’s new Metropolitano stadium will stage the 2019 Champions League final, UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin announced after an executive committee meeting on Wednesday.

Soccer Football - Santander La Liga - Atletico Madrid vs Malaga CF - Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid, Spain - September 16, 2017 General view inside the stadium before the match REUTERS/Sergio Perez

Madrid was chosen ahead of Baku, the only other candidate to stage the match and which was awarded the Europa League final the same season.

Atletico inaugurated the new stadium, which is officially known as the Wanda Metropolitano and holds 67,500 people, on Saturday with a 1-0 win over Malaga.

UEFA also announced that the EPFL umbrella organisation representing Europe’s domestic leagues would have a place on their decision-making executive committee.

Soccer Football - Santander La Liga - Atletico Madrid vs Malaga CF - Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid, Spain - September 16, 2017 General view outside the stadium REUTERS/Sergio Perez

The announcement appeared to heal a rift with the EPFL, which had protested a UEFA decision last year to reduce the number of places in the lucrative Champions League group stage allocated to teams from the smaller leagues from next season.

Ceferin did not rule out overturning those changes for the subsequent 2021-24 cycle. “We are discussing, everything is possible but it is not the right time to be more precise,” he told reporters.

Brussels, one of the venues for the Euro 2020 tournament but which has been troubled by delays, was given until Nov. 20 to obtain “all relevant permits to start construction, as well as a realistic and guaranteed construction schedule”.

UEFA said that if Brussels stood down, the replacement candidates would be either Cardiff or Stockholm, which bid unsuccessfully to host matches, or London, which is hosting the semi-finals and final.

“We still trust Brussels. It would not be fair to think they cannot do it now because they have a deadline at the end of November,” added Ceferin. A final decision will be taken on Dec. 7, he said.

Writing by Brian Homewood in Berne; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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