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By ESPN Staff
Jul 19, 2006

Wembley, Olympiastadion compete for finals

LONDON, July 19 (Reuters) - The newly rebuilt Wembley Stadium and Berlin's Olympiastadion, the venue for the World Cup final on July 9, are in the running to stage the 2008 or 2009 Champions League finals.

The decision will be taken in early October when the UEFA Executive Committee meets in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Wembley and the Olympiastadion are on the short list for both finals along with the Stadio Olimpico in Rome and Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium.

The Estadio Olimpico in Seville, which staged the 2003 UEFA Cup final between Porto and Celtic is also in contention for both showpieces.

The Olympiastadion has never hosted a European final but profited from a 242 million euros ($302.4 million) overhaul for the World Cup.

Wembley, scene of the 1966 World Cup final and five European Champions' Cup showpieces, is in the final stages of being rebuilt with a 90,000-seat capacity at a cost of 1.2 billion euros. After a series of delays it is expected to open next year.

Wembley, also the main venue for the 1948 Olympics, has staged the finals of Europe's premier club competition in 1963, 1968, 1971, 1978 and 1992.

Rome provided the setting for the 1960 Olympic Games and the 1990 World Cup final and has staged the European Cup finals of 1977, 1984 and 1996.

The Luzhniki was the main venue for the 1980 Moscow Olympics and also held the 1999 UEFA Cup final.

UEFA will evaluate the bids according to the capacity and infrastructure of the stadium, the city and airport agreements, accommodation and promotional plans, and the principle of geographical rotation.

The 2007 Champions League final is being staged in Athens and the UEFA Cup final at Hampden Park, Glasgow.