Not that it really matters at this point, but UEFA are apparently investigating claims that officials at Baku’s Olympic Stadium opened the turnstiles when they realised the venue was nowhere near full for the Europa League final.
Arsenal and Chelsea only sold around 6,000 of their 12,000 allocated tickets and many sponsors are thought to have returned theirs when the logistics of getting to Azerbaijan proved difficult.
Embarrassingly for the Azeri, it meant lots of empty seats were visible after the game kicked off. In an attempt to save face, The Times reports that they tried to fill the empty space with anyone who happened to be lingering around outside.
We’re not going to criticise the idea that a few locals got to watch the game for free – to be honest, we pity the Arsenal supporting ones – but it does further underline what an absolute shitshow the organisation of the final was by UEFA.
No doubt some faceless suits in Nyon will spend a couple of weeks preparing a report before handing issuing a tiny fine.
For the record, the official attendance was 51,370; the third highest for a Europa League final. The stadium’s capacity was reduced from 69,000 to 62,000 for the occasion.