UEFA are set to come in for some intense backlash after claiming that allocating extra tickets to fans for the Europa League final would be irresponsible.
Arsenal and Chelsea are set to contest the final of the Europa League. The game will be played in Baku at the Baku Olympic Stadium on May 29.
The Gunners booked their berth in the final with a commanding win over Valencia. Chelsea, on the other hand, claimed a last-gasp penalty shootout victory over Eintracht Frankfurt in the semifinals.
UEFA refuse to allow additional tickets to be sold
Fans of both sides, however, received a major blow, with UEFA allocating just 12000 fans for the traveling fans. This decision was met with much anger from both clubs’ fan bases.
Arsenal, in fact, released a statement indicating their displeasure at UEFA’s actions. They also requested that more tickets be allocated to their fans.
The game is set to be played over 2500 miles away from either club’s headquarters which makes matters worse.
“Selling extra tickets would be irresponsible”
However, UEFA have now responded to Arsenal’s request, stating that tickets are allocated in advance and cannot be predicted depending on which teams reach the summit clash.
They also claimed that selling tickets at such a stage now would be irresponsible.
“Based on UEFA’s recent experience with UEFA Europa League finals and the UEFA Super Cup in comparable venues the number of finalists’ supporters requesting tickets for a UEFA Europa League final can vary greatly from club to club.
“Taking into consideration the above and most importantly the geographical location and logistical capacity of airports in and around the host city, it was deemed that around 15,000 spectators would be able to travel from abroad (this includes finalists’ fans and general public), with Baku as the main hub.
“Offering more tickets to fans of the participating teams, without any guarantee that they would be able to arrange suitable travel to reach Baku, was therefore not a responsible option”.
This would be a major blow to fans of both clubs who were looking forward to seeing their respective teams lift a major piece of silverware.
It remains to be seen if UEFA do indeed change their decision under the weight of increasing pressure.