Chelsea and Manchester United fans were seen partying in Porto, hours ahead of the Champions League final in the Portuguese city. Some locals were not happy with the scenes in the city as a few fans were seen flouting local Covid-19 protocols.
Porto’s riverside area was the scene of celebration as football fans from England partied in the city, chanting team slogans and enjoying drinks ahead of the Champions League final between Chelsea and Manchester City.
The Champions League final was moved from Istanbul to Porto as Portugal is on the British government’s “green” list allowing tourists to visit the country without quarantining on their return.
As many as 16,500 fans will be allowed into the stadium as Premier League champions Manchester City take on Chelsea in the all-English final. There was anger among locals in Porto as the administrators had eased Covid-19 restrictions for visiting English fans. Quite a few of them were seen partying in the riverside area without face masks.
Big crowds of English fans took over Porto’s riverside area on Saturday to drink and chant team slogans ahead of the Champions League final between Chelsea and Manchester City.
‘Very disturbing to see’
The fans, singing loudly and holding plastic cups of beer, were very largely maskless and did not socially distance, to the annoyance of some locals. In Portugal, masks are still mandatory outside if people cannot observe social distancing.
Ines Andrade, a 19-year-old student from Porto, was visibly upset as she watched the scenes from nearby, saying it was “revolting” to see how fans were behaving, just four months after Portugal faced its toughest battle against COVID-19.
“For us, Portuguese, is it very disturbing to see these people come here and ruin everything we have tried to achieve over the last months and year.”
There has been concern in Portugal that the event could fuel a spike in cases after authorities decided to relax Covid-19 rules for the match. Fans had to present a negative COVID-19 test on arrival at the airport.
As planes arrived, stewards directed fans of the two teams to opposite sides of the airport, where rows of buses waited to drive them to the city centre, where fan zones had been set up. The fan zones each have the capacity for 6,000 people.
Before getting on the bus, fans were given a yellow bracelet to show they had tested negative for Covid-19. From 8 am. to 6 pm. The fan zones were open to ticket holders, who will then be transported to the stadium. The zones will open to those without a ticket after 6 pm, with the match shown on big screens.
“Anyone here had a (COVID-19) test done so this is probably the safest place to be in the world,” said one fan, sitting near a bar with friends.
There were minor scuffles as hundreds of maskless fans flooded bars by the river on Friday night.
News Source : INDIATODAY