And without a doubt, this was one of the most disappointing Europa League finals we had witnessed for a long time.
Firstly both Chelsea and Arsenal were furious that UEFA had chosen a venue which was miles away from London – so far in fact that both the clubs found it really hard to sell off their allocated tickets.
Both the finalists were allocated around 6,000 tickets each but most of the fans chose not to travel to Baku primarily because of the high expenditures they would have to incur for the tickets as well as the travel.
This meant that the match was played inside a stadium which was not even close to full capacity.
The empty blue seats inside the Baku Olympic Stadium were like an eyesore and in order to prevent people watching at home to see the failure of the Europa League final, the broadcasters chose to show the match from a top angle so that the empty seats would not be visible.
And now it is being reported that the local authorities actually let local people in for free during the match in order to fill the empty seats inside the stadium.
“We were in the Arsenal corner and there were a lot of empty seats and suddenly after about 30 minutes lots of local people arrived, including some kids, and they had been given Arsenal flags to wave,” one supporter told The Times(as reported by the Independent).
And now reports are claiming that UEFA are not too pleased with the decision to allow locals in for free and they have decided to launch an investigation.
“It’s understood that Uefa are extremely unhappy with the decision being made without their knowledge and are investigating how the turnstiles were opened without their knowledge, leaving them powerless to prevent it,” as per the Independent.
“The European governing body’s concern stems from the fact that Baku is due to host four matches at Euro 2020 next year, and it follows a fierce backlash against the final being staged in the Azerbaijan capital due to the fact that large numbers of supporters were unable to travel there due to extremely expensive travel prices and few direct flights.”
This decision will surely infuriate all those fans who chose not to watch the Europa League final in Baku due to the expenditures involved and are now coming to know that the local got to watch the match for free.