Istanbul hopes to host new, ‘historic’ Champions League final

Fifteen years after the "Miracle of Istanbul" that cemented Steven Gerrard's status as a Liverpool legend, the Turkish metropolis was supposed to host its second Champions League final on Saturday. But that was before the coronavirus pandemic wreaked worldwide havoc, reports AFP.

On March 23, UEFA suspended Champions League matches until further notice as Europe's football competitions were hit hard by the virus. 

Although no date has been announced for the resumption of games, the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) hopes the final will be played in August -- the month when Istanbul is usually sunk into the hot and humid summer torpor.

In the meantime, Turkish fans are eagerly waiting, hoping that the Istanbul final will be played.

Atakan Bodan, a member of the ultrAslan, Istanbul giants Galatasaray's main fan group, feels the suspension of the top football leagues has "robbed him of joy in his life".

"I'm holding out with the Bundesliga and a few matches in the Belarusian championship, (but) I want the Champions League to resume," he said.