Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 18 August 2019

Arsenal slam 'unacceptable' decision to host Europa League final in Baku

Premier League club take on rivals Chelsea but only 6,000 tickets have been allocated to fans, while travel from London offers 'challenges'

The Olympic Stadium in Baku will host the Europa League final between Arsenal and Chelsea. EPA
The Olympic Stadium in Baku will host the Europa League final between Arsenal and Chelsea. EPA

Arsenal have said the decision to make Azerbaijani capital Baku host of their Europa League final with Chelsea is "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 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."

Updated: May 16, 2019 05:53 PM

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