Arsenal and Chelsea have returned 5,000 unsold tickets for the Europa League final back to UEFA. With the final taking place miles away in Azerbaijan’s capital Baku, fans are no more interested in the event, after taking into consideration visa, travel costs, and the 5000-mile round trip it would take to attend the fixture. Another major deterrent is the limited availability of flights into the country.
“This is just another example of why UEFA has to give more consideration to how it selects final venues. The main priority should be access for all fans getting to the country involved.” Tim Payton, board member of the Arsenal Supporters maintained.
But the possibility of large swaths of empty seats at Baku’s Olympic Stadium for the showpiece final is low as tickets will be sold to fans in Azerbaijan who have placed much demand.
A UEFA spokesperson said: “Approximately 6,000 tickets have been returned by the two finalists together. The majority of these tickets have already been sold to local fans in Azerbaijan and we are confident that the remaining ones will also be sold as demand is very high.”
Meanwhile, UEFA have not received any returned tickets from the 2,000 made available to sponsors.