10 May 2019

UEFA: Extra Baku Tickets 'Irresponsible'  (Sky Sports)

Europa League TrophyUEFA has insisted allocating more tickets to teams reaching the Europa League final would not have been a "responsible option".

The governing body has been criticised for allocating only 6,000 tickets per club, which has caused anger among Chelsea and Arsenal fans.

Arsenal issued a strongly-worded statement on Thursday evening after their victory in Valencia, criticisng UEFA's approach.

But UEFA has stood by its decision, claiming the number of supporters wanting tickets to the Europa League final can vary greatly, depending on the clubs that qualify, something it cannot predict in advance.

The UEFA spokesperson said: "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.

"Of course, it is impossible to predict in advance which clubs will reach the final while the venue has to be chosen around two years in advance.

"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".

Arsenal said it was disappointed with the allocation for its supporters, many of whom want to see their side lift a trophy and secure Champions League football for next season on May 29.

An Arsenal statement read: "We are in active discussions with UEFA for more tickets for our fans but this disappointing ticket allocation obviously presents us with extreme difficulties in how we allocate tickets to you, our loyal supporters.

The venue is chosen around two years in advance of the final. Baku is around 2,850 miles from the London clubs.

Arsenal also say they are in discussions with UEFA about obtaining more tickets, although it is not yet clear whether or not that will happen.

It is understood, however, a significant number of tickets will go to officials, sponsors and members of the press.

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