UEFA claims it will work with fans over travel woe

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UEFA has defended the decision to award Baku the Europa League final but will work with Chelsea and Arsenal to get the fans there.

UEFA has defended the decision to award Baku the Europa League final but will work with Chelsea and Arsenal to get the fans there.

The two Premier League rivals will meet in the Azerbaijan capital on May 29.

However, since the two London clubs qualified last week, concerns have been raised over hosting the showpiece event in Baku’s Olympic Stadium.

Arsenal and Chelsea declared their disappointment at the ticket allocation for the final, with both clubs receiving in the region of 6,000 tickets each for a stadium which has a full capacity of 69,870.

Travel to Baku is also proving an issue for those fans who have qualified for a match ticket, with supporters heading out from London facing a round trip of 5,000 miles to attend the game.

Reports have suggested the immediate uptake on ticket sales at both clubs has been slow, while a one-day official travel trip has been offered at around £980 per person.

Both the Chelsea Supporters Trust and Arsenal Supporters Trust have been critical of the current conditions facing fans who are trying to head out to Azerbaijan.

UEFA competitions director Giorgio Marchetti has written a letter to Arsenal regarding the issues raised by the Emirates Stadium club.

Marchetti apologised for any problems experienced by Arsenal and Chelsea fans in trying to make the trip, and stressed UEFA would look to help as part of a ‘joint effort’ with the clubs.

He said: ‘It goes without saying that an all-English final played by two London teams was not a very predictable event at the time of the appointment.

There is little doubt that this has added significant difficulties to the event logistics.

‘We are really sorry for the problems that your (and Chelsea’s) fans are encountering trying to organise their journey to Baku.

‘Our experts are keenly working on this matter with a view to help find cheaper solutions for travelling fans.

We would welcome a joint effort with your club in this respect.’

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