Arsenal hit out at UEFA over Baku venue

Arsenal hit out at UEFA over Baku venue

16/05/2019 at 10:09Updated 16/05/2019 at 13:39

Arsenal have criticised UEFA after being allocated 6,000 tickets for their Europa League final against Chelsea, held almost 3,000 miles away in Azerbaijan.

The game is due to take place on May 29 in Baku, and the club need to win in order to qualify for the Champions League next season.

However, Arsenal have been given 10 per cent of the seats available in the 60,000-seater Baku Olympic Stadium in Azerbaijan, and some fans are struggling to afford or organise a trip to Eastern Europe.

The statement says they have 'received many complaints from our fans about this and we fully share their concerns' over the 'limited transport provisions' to reach the venue.

"Everyone at Arsenal is delighted to have reached the UEFA Europa League final and we are all very much looking forward to the match against Chelsea on Wednesday, May 29," the statement read.

"However, 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.

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

There are no direct scheduled flights between London and Baku in the week of the final, while prices of any remaining connecting flights have rocketed to well beyond £1,000.

Arsenal said they have received many complaints from travelling fans who are desperate to attend the final.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan is a doubt for the final due to the ongoing conflict between Azerbaijan and his native Armenia, as was the case earlier in the competition when Arsenal beat Qarabag during the group stages.

Additional reporting from Reuters