Portuguese politician Rui Rio is critical of the admission of ‘foreigners’ for the Champions League final
Prominent Portuguese politician Rui Rio has criticized the decision to let ‘foreigners’ into the country for this weekend’s Champions League final.
Rio, the president of the Social Democratic Party, expressed concern about the effect the traveling football supporters could have on the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, accusing some of causing “ disrespect. ”
Manchester City faces Chelsea in the all-English showpiece tonight, but the build-up in Porto has been marred by ugly scenes and clashes between members of both fan bases and riot police.
Portuguese politician Rui Rio struck that fans could travel for the Champions League final
Fans of Manchester City (pictured) and Chelsea have flown to Portugal for the big showpiece
The match was moved from the original host city of Istanbul to Portugal, as those going to the last flying city do not need to be quarantined upon arrival. This allowed up to 16,500 spectators to attend the Estadio do Dragao.
Despite strict procedures ensuring that supporters are brought to the ground and then back to the airport, Rio has devastated events and wonders why Portuguese clubs were not allowed to enter fans during their season.
“This has to be done realistically, and it’s not always the best,” said Rio. ‘I cannot understand how we did not allow an audience at the football championships.
A number of supporters are engaged in ugly fist fights along the Douro River in Porto
Police in the city have been forced to step in to stop countless brawls with their batons
‘I will even say that now we are going to import a game in which foreigners can be disrespectful and walk around here. And then say it won’t be like the Sporting party in Lisbon and apparently it’s getting worse or almost getting worse. ‘
Portugal has been added to the UK government’s ‘green list’ for international travel. The status means that people don’t have to isolate themselves when they return home, making it easier to get to the finals.
Each team has been allocated 6,000 tickets, of which approximately 2,000 have been awarded to UEFA delegates and sponsors. The rest is sold to gamblers in Portugal.
The limited numbers soon led to a struggle to attend the game, and a large number of supporters are said to have flown out hoping to get a ticket in the hours after they landed.
City fans clash with police as tensions mount for Saturday’s final
Cops stand guard on a busy street with both sets of fans packing bars and restaurants
But pre-match tension spilled over into some ugly brawls around Porto, forcing riot police armed with batons to step in to maintain control.
City and Chelsea fans fought each other and the police, along the Douro River in the city, with a bar stool thrown back and forth.
The strict social distance rules were blatantly ignored as supporters, some decorated with their team’s flag, caused bumps and flares after a day of drinking in the sun.
Hundreds of people are enjoying the chance to get away from the game packed bars, and have fueled the tense atmosphere with more alcohol and shouting chants.
Supporters clashed with the police, who intervened to restore order in the heated atmosphere
Depicts a police officer trying to break through another boozy brawl in the Portuguese city
Glasses and bottles were banned to prevent serious outbreaks of violence and, although riot police had to attack to end the fighting, there are believed to have been no serious injuries.
A large number of the supporters there for last-minute places are facing the possibility of missing the broadcast on television, with branches in Porto closing at 10:30 pm tonight to adhere to the restrictions of the coronavirus.
Wednesday night also broke out as City and Manchester United fans fought, forcing police to intervene again with their batons.
Members of the City loyal to a resort in Albufeira rejoiced that United had lost the Europa League final against Villarreal after a penalty shootout in the marathon – and problems quickly flared up.
City fans flocked to Ribeira in Porto to sing and chant in the sun before the crunch clash
A witness told the sun: ‘That started with pushing and shoving, followed by fighting in the street. Military police had to wade in with batons to disassemble it. ‘
So far, there have been no reports of serious injuries or arrests of anyone for the fracas.
With a strict Covid bubble this weekend for supporters, they will have to provide proof of a negative PCR test to enter the stadium, conducted from May 26, or a lateral flow test from May 28.
Chelsea have trained on the pitch at the Estadio do Dragao to prepare for Saturday’s final
The City players also took to the field for their own practice as the grand kick-off draws near
Tickets to the grand showpiece range from £ 60 for a Category 4 seat to £ 515 for a Category 1 seat.
According to the latest coronavirus statistics in Portugal, just over 16 percent of the country’s population was fully vaccinated on May 27.
598 new cases were registered yesterday, with a seven-day moving average of 474.