Arsenal say Baku ‘unacceptable’ as Europa League final host

Arsenal's Spanish head coach Unai Emery reactsa ahead of the English Premier League football match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Arsenal at the Molineux stadium in Wolverhampton, central England on April 24, 2019. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /

Arsenal's Spanish head coach Unai Emery reactsa ahead of the English Premier League football match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Arsenal at the Molineux stadium in Wolverhampton, central England on April 24, 2019. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /

Arsenal have branded the decision for Azerbaijani capital Baku to host their Europa League final with Chelsea as “unacceptable” as fans struggle with the logistics and cost of attending the game on May 29.

The London clubs were given 6,000 tickets each by European football’s governing body for the match at the 68,700-capacity Olympic Stadium, more than 4,500 kilometres (2,800 miles) from the English capital.

UEFA cited Baku’s limited airport capacity as one reason for not reserving more tickets for travelling fans.

“We are bitterly disappointed by the fact that due to transport limitations UEFA can only make a maximum of 6,000 tickets available to Arsenal for a stadium with a capacity of well over 60,000,” said Arsenal in a strongly worded statement.

“Time will tell if it is even possible for 6,000 Arsenal fans to attend the match, given how extreme the travel challenges are.”

Liverpool and Tottenham supporters have also complained about the limited number of tickets given to both clubs for the Champions League final, in Madrid on June 1.

And Arsenal called on UEFA to take fans’ considerations more into account when choosing where showpiece European finals are held.

“On behalf of our fans, we would like to understand the criteria by which venues are selected for finals, and also how supporter requirements are taken into account as part of this,” added Arsenal’s statement.

“Moving forward, we would urge UEFA to ensure that supporter logistics and requirements are a key part of any future decisions for final venues as what has happened this season is unacceptable, and cannot be repeated.

“We would be happy to join any future discussions to avoid this situation happening again.”

 

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.

Would you like to place a soccer bet? Click here to get started in 3 easy steps.


Contact Us


 

 


today in print

today in print