Cup final fever grips Moscow

MOSCOW - Sports bars across Moscow have reported sell-out bookings ahead of tonight's Champions League final as the Russian capital braced for an onslaught of English fans.

MOSCOW - Sports bars across Moscow have reported sell-out bookings ahead of tonight's Champions League final as the Russian capital braced for an onslaught of English fans.

Russian football fans have been allotted only a limited number of tickets for the final between Manchester United and Chelsea in Moscow's Luzhniki stadium, and many have turned to advance bookings in sports bars to watch the match.

"The last available table was reserved last week," said Nikolai Sedov, deputy chief of one of the most popular sport bars in the city centre.

"Some of our bars reported they were sold out for the May 21 evening already a month ago," said Natalia Sokolova, spokesman for Moscow's Kruzhka sports bar network, whose establishments are open for business 24 hours a day.

"Our clients usually reserve a table for a company of six people or more."

Meanwhile Manchester United representatives have decided to organise a public relations action in one of the Russian capital's sports bars with Manchester United flags and souvenirs on offer.

About 40000 English fans are expected in the Russian capital for tonight's match in which the two English Premiership giants will play for this season's European club championship title.

No doubt the two sets of fans would be pinning their hopes on Ronaldo for Manchester and Didier Drogba for Chelsea, among others.

l The match build-up will be televised live on SuperSport 3, MaXimo and ESPN. - Sapa-AFP

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