The UEFA Champions League final is one of the biggest games in soccer each and every year and, according to UEFA’s new president, it could be coming stateside.
UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin says that he’s open to hosting UCL finales outside of Europe, including in New York. Ceferin says he is he is hoping to revive an open bidding process for the rights to host the UCL final. Currently, UEFA leadership selects finale locations for both the UCL and Europa League, but Ceferin’s aim is to make the process more transparent for all involved.
“I think it might be an idea in future but we have to speak about it,” Ceferin told the Associated Press.”To go from Portugal to Azerbaijan for example is almost the same or the same as if you go to New York. For the fans it’s no problem but we should see. It’s a European competition so let’s think about it.”
“The bidding process should be very clear because if you get the Champions League finals or Europa league finals as a political favor then it’s not OK,” Ceferin added. “With a clear bidding procedure I will protect also the administration and myself because whoever tries to call us, to push us, to ask us for such a favor we will have a clear answer, ‘Sorry there are clear rules we cannot do it.'”
In addition, Ceferin says that UEFA is looking into how to make games more convenient to watch for fans across the world, including in China, where games are broadcast in the early morning. One option includes moving the semifinal round to weekends, although Ceferin says there is nothing “concrete” as UEFA assesses how to avoid disturbing domestic leagues.
The UCL, which Ceferin called the “best sporting product in the world,” returns Nov. 4 for the fourth matches of the group stage.