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Arsenal, Chelsea fans face 5,700-mile trip to Europa final in Baku

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Arsenal’s players celebrate at the end of the UEFA Europa League semi-final second leg football match between Valencia CF and Arsenal FC at the Mestalla stadium in Valencia on May 9, 2019. JAVIER SORIANO / AFP

• No Direct Flights To Azerbaijan
• Supporters Grumble On Over-Inflated Hotel Prices

Arsenal and Chelsea supporters face paying up to a staggering £1,000 for return journey flights from London to Baku for the Europa League final.

The Premier League duo booked their place in the May 29 showdown on Thursday night and now attentions have turned to how fans will make their way to the Baku Olympic Stadium.

Only eight miles separate Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium ground to Chelsea’s home at Stamford Bridge but both clubs are being forced to play 2,850 miles away.

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Chelsea are laying on a special day trip but it will cost £979 and the deal is only available for supporters of the west London club.

UEFA’s decision to host the final in Azerbaijan means fans will have to travel further east than capital cities in Saudi Arabia (Riyadh) and Iraq (Baghdad).

They may also have to fly to Istanbul or Kiev before changing planes – meaning the journey could take up to 10 hours.

It has turned out to be a logistical nightmare for supporters of both clubs as there are currently no direct flights from London to Baku scheduled for the week of the final.

Fans will also need to apply for a visa to enter Azerbaijan – leaving supporters with just 19 days to be given the green light to enter the country.

Many took to Twitter to vent their anger towards UEFA after being notified of the travel arrangements to Baku.

Even Arsenal star Henrikh Mkhitaryan may not be able to attend the final as the Armenian may be denied a visa due to political tensions between his country and Azerbaijan.

Supporters also face a scramble to get hold of a matchday ticket as both clubs have been given just 6,000 tickets each despite the fact the final will be held in a 68,700-seater stadium.

UEFA delegates and sponsors are usually given prestigious final tickets leaving loyal fans out in the cold and unable to support their team.

After reaching the final by defeating Valencia 7-3 on aggregate, Arsenal sent out a club statement warning their fans of how much it will cost them to travel to Baku.

‘We want to stress to all supporters before they commit to registering their interest for this match, that there will be significant travel difficulties and cost implications.

‘There are very limited travel options to Baku, with a small number of available seats on scheduled flights from western Europe to Azerbaijan. We also estimate that return travel to Baku could cost supporters in excess of £1,000 per person.


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