UEFA Europa League Chelsea vs Arsenal
Europa League final Baku Olympic Stadium

The Europa League final will be played at the Baku Olympic Stadium in Azerbaijan and recently Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp heavily criticised UEFA for hosting such an important game so far east.

Baku is around 2800 miles away from London which means it will be a hectic commute for both the Chelsea and Arsenal fans. And as of now, there are no direct flights from London to Baku.

Jurgen Klopp was certainly not too pleased with the decision to host the Europa League final in Baku especially since the Champions League final is set to be played at the Metropolitano in Madrid.

But now the Azerbaijan FA have hit back at the Liverpool boss giving reasons why this final will help grow football in Eastern Europe.

Azerbaijan FA’s general secretary Elkhan Mammadov said: “I was unpleasantly surprised by the remarks of Jurgen Klopp,

“He always gave an impression of a very positive person. Moreover, we all know that he is a great specialist who has achieved really outstanding results in football.

“But with all this, I strongly disagree with his opinion that football should be geographically limited.

“We must respect and promote the values of football. And one of our main values is the expansion of the boundaries of football and its globalization.

“Europe has long gone beyond the borders of the countries of the western part of this continent.

“And I am convinced that holding European Championship matches and European Cup finals in Eastern Europe opens up new opportunities for developing football in these countries, serves to make it more popular among the younger generation, attracts young people to football.

“The same can be said about the organization of the Champions League final in Kiev or 10 years ago in Istanbul.

“Yes, perhaps this year the prices in Madrid have risen because of the Champions League final, but this is the so-called side effect of a market economy and it happens everywhere on the eve of big sporting events.

“I agree that getting to Baku by bus from London will be difficult, but [since] when was the distance a barrier for real fans?

“I want to remind you that three cities participated in the tender for the final: Seville, Istanbul and Baku. No one limited the ability of other countries to participate.

“I am sure that there will be a real football holiday in Baku. And I am also confident that the same will happen in Madrid.”

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