UEFA's 2017 Report Found Baku To Be An Inadequate Host City For European Finals
It's emerged that UEFA deemed Baku to be inadequate to host European finals in a 2017 valuation report the governing body carried out.
The Azerbaijani capital bid to host both the 2019 Champions League and Europa League finals and though Madrid got the premier fixture, Baku ended up being awarded the latter.
However, this comes after UEFA said there was nowhere near enough room for accomodation to host a Champions League final.
The report, as per the Daily Mail reads: "The number of hotel rooms within a 60km radius of the stadium falls short of UEFA requirements for a Champions League final and the city could accommodate only a very limited number of fans and sponsors in standard hotels. Mitigation measures such as campsites, university dormitories and guest houses would need to be investigated."
So UEFA say Baku airport and support structures don't have the capacity for an influx of fans, hence the 6k allocation each to Arsenal and Chelsea. Yet there are 4 Euro 2020 games in Baku incl a quarter final - go figure!- Craig Burley (@CBurleyESPN) May 10, 2019
The above explanation is given for the Champions League but also applies to the Europa League as it was stated Baku would still not have a suitable level of accommodation to house fans.
Accomodation hasn't really been the issue for this year's final but it's still a complete and utter shit-show from UEFA.
The Olympic Stadium has a capacity of 68,700 and yet only a combined total of 12,000 were issued to Chelsea and Arsenal fans, with UEFA saying the allocation is "responsible" because of logistics.
Half of the tickets are due to be sent back because literally no-one wants to make the trip given the sheer lack of direct flights and the cost.
The Europa League final:- Adrian Kennedy (@_AdrianKenn) May 21, 2019
:x: 6,000 fans allocated to Chelsea and Arsenal in a 69,000 seater stadium
:x: Chelsea and Arsenal struggling to sell those tickets because of travel difficulties
:x: Henrikh Mkhitarayn can't travel because of security concerns#UELfinal pic.twitter.com/cYmQDHjqqZ
Matt Hughes from The Times says locals have already bought 23,000 tickets for the game but with barely any Chelsea and Arsenal fans in attendance, there's hardly going to be a special atmosphere created.
Then, of course, there's the absolute farce which has seen Henrikh Mkhitaryan decide not to make the trip because of the long-running conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan - and the fact he and his family's safety is not guaranteed.
[...] It's the kind of game that doesn't come along very often for us players and I must admit, it hurts me a lot to miss it.I will be cheering my teammates on! Let's bring it home @Arsenal :trophy::muscle::muscle::muscle: #uel #final #arsenal #chelsea #AFC #COYG pic.twitter.com/gnDA6oyolw- Henrikh Mkhitaryan (@HenrikhMkh) May 21, 2019
What's more, some British-Armenian Arsenal season ticket holders are being refused entry into the country for the final.
A number of petitions to #BoycottBaku have been set up, with one asking for the game to be played at Wembley garnering nearly 15,000 signatures.