Wasn’t this game supposed to be in Turkey?

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The short answer to that question above is: yes. The reasons are more complicated and, like so many things these day, all related to the coronavirus.

The Champions League final is in Portugal for the second year in a row. This time, like last year, it was a late solution, and each time it required the consent of officials in Turkey, which has now lost the chance to host the final two years in a row.

A promenade in Istanbul earlier this week.Credit…Emrah Gurel/Associated Press

The decision earlier this month to move the final from Istanbul, which had recently re-entered a virus-related lockdown, came after discussions between European soccer leaders and British government officials, who had been seeking to bring the game to London, broke down over differences about quarantines and testing, among other issues.

When those talks failed, Portugal’s soccer federation raised its hand and offered to be a safe harbor again. From my colleague Tariq Panja earlier this month:

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