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UEFA issue warning for potential ticketless fans in Europa League final

This year's Europa League final is set to take place at Dublin's Aviva Stadium on May 22. However, UEFA have recently issued a concerning warning regarding the possibility of ticketless fans for the final.

The ground itself has a capacity of just over 51,000, but UEFA General Secretary, Theodore Theodoridis, admitted that it would be difficult for the organisation to accommodate fans if clubs with large fanbases were to reach the final of the competition.

Ticketless fans could be a problem for 2024 Europa League final

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There are several pairings of teams which could potentially trouble UEFA. Photo by Icon Sport

What did UEFA say?

Alarmingly, Theodoridis explained that depending on which pair of teams make it to the final, finding a way in which all fans who wish to be in Dublin for the match were adequately accommodated would be difficult. 

The UEFA secretary said: “There are a couple of pairings that would be extremely challenging in terms of finding ways to accommodate everyone who wanted to be in Dublin.

“We have gone to reserve Croke Park as a potential viewing venue but it might not be enough.

“We work with the local authority and Football Supporters Europe but the number of supporters without tickets could be a problem.”

Which pairing could cause the biggest issue?

More than likely, the situation Theodoridis is referring to is if two clubs from the United Kingdom were to reach the final. Liverpool and Rangers are of course two massive sides, who both have an incredible amount of supporters based in Ireland already, and a great deal in England and Scotland respectively who would likely want to make the short journey across the Irish Sea.

West Ham United are another potentially troubling team for UEFA. The Hammers notoriously travel well, and given that again they are located very close to Ireland, their fanbase too would likely make that journey in vast numbers.

Aside from just UK-based sides, footballing giants AC Milan are also still in the competition and given they also have a very large fanbase, could cause UEFA some hospitality issues as well.

Controversy strikes again

This is not the first time there has been controversy surrounding UEFA's choice of venue for a Europa League final.

Perhaps the most notable example came in 2019, when Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, was selected as the venue of the Europa League final between Arsenal and Chelsea. Deep-rooted political issues between Armenia and Azerbaijan meant that many British-Armenian citizens were denied visas, and Arsenal midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan also made the decision to not attend the game due to safety concerns.

There were claims that Baku was selected only for financial gain rather than for sporting reasons, and given the potential inadequacies of Dublin as a hosting city, as admitted to by UEFA themselves, it appears as though that may have been the case once again.


Harry Dowsett

Freelance football writer with experience writing for multiple digital platforms, such as GIVEMESPORT. Recently graduated from Portsmouth University with a media studies degree - completing a dissertation on the evolution of sports journalism in the process. He has a love for Arsenal Football Club and a passion for football as a whole.

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