UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has shed more light on the possibility of staging the Champions League showpiece final outside of Europe.
The UEFA Champions League, being the most sought-after tournament in European football, has never had its final clash played outside of the continent since its inception in 1955.
Every Champions League summit clash has been staged in Europe to this point.
Istanbul will host the final match this year, followed by London and Munich for the other two finals in 2023/24 and 2024/25 respectively.
However, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has revealed the possibility of exporting the European club football’s most important final match, with the United States being a top option.
Caferin made this suggestion given the sport’s rising popularity in the USA and its commercial possibilities.
Aleksander Ceferin was re-elected unopposed for a third term as UEFA president at a meeting of European football’s governing body in Lisbon earlier this month.
The 55-year-old Slovenian barrister was first elected in 2016 putting an end to Frenchman Michel Platini’s reign, and he will remain in the position until 2027.
Ceferin earned re-election by acclamation after he stood against the breakaway of the European Super League project during his second term.
The Slovenian will now oversee the beginning of a new format for the Champions League following his claim of the possibility to stage the final in the USA come 2026.
In response to a question about the Champions League final match being played in the United States, Aleksander Ceferin said anything is possible as the future is full of uncertainties with destinations yet to be decided from 2026 onwards.
Speaking to Men in Blazers, Ceferin said: “It is possible.”
“We started to discuss that, but then one year it is World Cup, 2024 is Euro.”
“This year [the final] is Istanbul, ’24 in London, ’25 in Munich. And after that let’s see. It’s possible, it’s possible.”
Ceferin also mentioned the fast-rising popularity of football games in the USA.
The Americans are famous for their passion for football and they are ready to pay any amount to quench their hunger for it.
The United States’ passion for football as earned them the shot of hosting the prestigious FIFA tournament as they will co-host the 2026 World Cup alongside Mexico and Canada.
Ceferin added: “Football is extremely popular in the United States these days… Americans are ready to pay for the best and nothing for the less. So they will follow European football as basketball lovers in Europe follow the NBA.”
“What shocked me (about the American audience) was that the European Championship finals were watched by more people in the United States than the NBA Finals… For 30 matches of the Euros, the viewership was like Super Bowl viewership.”
If eventually, the UEFA ruling body agrees to stage the 2025/26 Champions League showpiece event in the United States, it would be a huge incentive for soccer in the U.S.
The only time American football fans get to watch top European clubs play in their country is during irrelevant summer friendlies.
Hence, getting to watch the most prominent European football final event in the world in the United States would definitely be what American fans will be looking forward to seeing.
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