June 14, 2021

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C1: “It will be exciting” … Before the final, English fans invest in Porto

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Porto (Portugal) (AFP)

Ahead of the 100% English Champions League final, hundreds of Chelsea and Manchester City supporters gathered on Friday in the center of Porto, north Portugal, where they waited impatiently for the match using the docks. Sunny.

Robert Woods wore a Chelsea needle-filled hat on Thursday on downtown Main Avenue, where the big inflatable copy of the “Big Ears Cup” was installed.

Despite a disability that forced him to travel on the embracing scooter, he did not want to miss the event: “I’m lucky, because I do not have to pay for the ticket, even if he does. Coming to Porto is much harder than what happened in London.”

“Now that I’m here, I hope we win 3-1”, the 74-year-old fan has been with his team since 1953, and was in Munich in 2012 when they won their first C1 in London. .

Like him, a few English supporters have chosen to come to Porto several days before the final to enjoy the city, while Portugal has reopened its borders to tourists from the United Kingdom and the European Union for two weeks.

– “Taste” of football –

John Allen, 57, of Barry, Greater Manchester, welcomes the return of the public to “no taste for football” for this final between the English clubs.

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Ben Green expects it to be “the biggest night in club history” as the 26-year-old Manchester City fan held up a flag bearing the appearance of midfielder Bill Fotten.

“This is the first time I’m going to watch a match in Europe and I hope it’s exciting and I’ve come out with the trophy,” said Dylan Stotler, a Chelsea supporter of the same age, especially from Cape Town. In South Africa, with three other friends.

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With the approval of the Portuguese authorities, UEFA plans to have 16,500 supporters or one-third of its capacity at Dragon Stadium stands. 6,000 tickets were issued to each club, and 1,700 tickets were sold to the general public.

The Portuguese government had indicated that English supporters would not communicate with the locals, but those who arrived earlier could actually move freely.

On Saturday, about 80 charter flights are expected to take the majority of fans to Portugal. About 180 coaches were later scheduled to take these fans from the airport to Dragon Ground.

– “I don’t care about Govt” –

Also, for ticketless English fans, two “fan zones” will be set up in the city, which can hold a maximum of 6,000 people each, where they can drink. One will be reserved for Chelsea fans and the other for City fans. Their access is limited to carriers of negative Covit-19 PCR or antigen testing.

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On Friday afternoon, on the crowded terraces of the Ribeira district on the shores of the Toure, most of the supporters did not respect the gestures or the wearing of masks.

They gathered in short queues, sang their club songs and lit smoke bombs. Some, Tipsy, bare breasts and sun-reddened skin, were in high numbers looking at the Portuguese police, but they seemed to want to stick to the “educational approach”.

“I want City to win, it’s to be one of the happiest moments of my life. Jones, 31.

The night before, when bars in the area were closed, some clashes erupted between supporters and police.

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