LONDON (AP) – UEFA has yet to ask the British government for a tax break for overseas teams in the 2013 Champions League final at Wembley, risking a repeat of an issue that forced the 2010 game to be moved to Spain.
UEFA moved the 2010 final to Madrid instead of London after foreign teams balked at the prospect of paying British tax on earnings from bonuses and endorsements from the event.
To ensure that Wembley eventually gained the hosting rights for last month's final, Britain granted an exemption from its tax laws to relax the rules for foreign teams.
But that exemption was a one-off, and the government said that UEFA never asked for a similar break before deciding last week to award the 2013 final to Wembley as a way of marking the 150th anniversary of the English Football Association.
''The government has not been approached about tax breaks for the 2013 Champions League final,'' the British government said in statement to The Associated Press. ''If such an approach is made, we will consider it.''
UEFA confirmed that it had not made the tax exemption a prerequisite to giving Wembley the match, a decision that took many by surprise since no venue has held the Champions League final in such quick succession.
''It was more important to first give the signal that we want to celebrate in an appropriate way the 150th anniversary of The Football Association,'' UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino told the AP. ''This is more important than the rest of the issues.
''We are confident that the same (tax) conditions will apply (in 2013).''
The fact that overseas sports stars are taxed while competing in England led to Jamaican Olympic champion Usain Bolt pulling out of an event last year over fears his earnings here would greatly diminish.
The rules were implemented after Britain's tax authority won a landmark case five years ago against American tennis star Andre Agassi, and also affects musicians and actors appearing here.
Agassi was ordered in 2006 to pay tax on a portion of the money paid to him by Nike and Head because he endorsed their products at Wimbledon and other events in Britain.
In the wake of that case, the British tax authority can now claim tax on a proportion of an athlete's worldwide endorsements earnings. So if 50 percent of an athlete's events are in Britain, 50 percent of their global endorsement earnings can be taxed.
AP Sports Writer Graham Dunbar in Geneva contributed to this report.