European soccer body Uefa has insisted it has ‘no concrete plans’ to stage its marquee club property, the Champions League final, in New York after claims made by a senior broadcaster.
Jaume Roures, chief executive of Spanish Champions League rights holder Mediapro, claimed on Spanish radio that negotiations are taking place over hosting a future final in the US city.
Uefa has subsequently played down the possibility, although did admit informal discussion had taken place.
In a statement issued to sports business outlet Sportcal, Uefa said: “In general, Uefa is always looking at possible strategic decisions that could benefit its competitions. It [a final in New York] is something that has been discussed very informally, but there are currently no concrete plans to host the Uefa Champions League outside of Europe.”
Ahead of this May’s Champions League final in Kiev, Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin said staging future editions of the Champions League final outside of Europe remained a “theoretical possibility”, citing New York and Middle East as possibilities given that travel times can be the same as crossing Europe.
It followed his statement in the month after his September 2016 election as Uefa president, when Ceferin said of playing the final outside Europe: “It might be an idea in future, but we have to speak about it.”
The Champions League and Europa League hosts are in place until the end of the 2019/20 season, with a new bidding process in place to award the final locations.
Roures’ statement on the Champions League came in light of La Liga’s decision to play a Spanigh top-flight match, now confirmed as Girona vs Barcelona, at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami on 26th January.