Ireland: Will controversial UEFA decision spoil Europa League final?

source: BBC, FSE,; author: Miguel Ciołczyk Garcia

Ireland: Will controversial UEFA decision spoil Europa League final? The federation has decided on how tickets for the UEFA Europa League final will be distributed. The decision has been met with a strong outcry from sections of the supporters' community, who believe that UEFA's division will allow tickets to be sold on the black market and stiltedly inflate prices.


Half of the half for the finalists

The final of this year's Europa League will be played at Ireland's national venue, Aviva Stadium. The arena will hold around 48,000 fans, 20,000 fewer than last year's final venue, Puskás Aréna, could accommodate. Of this pool, UEFA decided to allocate 25 per cent of the tickets to fans of each of the finalists, with the remaining 50 per cent for open sale.

As a result, both teams can sell 12,000 tickets for the final in Dublin at €40 each, while the remaining 24,000 seats, put on sale on the UEFA website, will cost fans a minimum of €65.

Aviva Stadium (Lansdowne Road, Dublin Arena)© William Murphy (cc: by-sa) /

Wrong decision?

The way the tickets have been distributed has met with strong opposition from Football Supporters Europe. The 55-country supporters' organisation is recognised as fans' representatives by, among others, the European Union and UEFA. Since last year it has had representatives in the Stadium and Security Committee as well as in the Fair Play and Social Responsibility Committee.

FSE has issued a statement on its website calling for a review of the allocation, which in its current form is expected to increase the resale of tickets on the black market, stiltedly pushing up prices. A significant increase needs to be made in line with FSE’s position of a minimum of 66% [of tickets for finalists - ed. note] to do right by supporters argues FSE executive director Ronan Evain.

Aviva Stadium (Lansdowne Road, Dublin Arena)© David Parsons (cc: by-nc-sa)

The organisation pointed out that in previous years UEFA has gradually increased the percentage of tickets for finalists, and this year the Champions League and Conference League finals have allocated a larger proportion to be sold directly by the finalists. For this reason, Ronan Evain described the decision as extremely disappointing and said it was a step backward.

MatchStadiumDate% of tickets for the finalists
Champions League Final Wembley Stadium 01.06 58
Europa League Final Aviva Stadium 22.05 50
Europa Conference League Final OPAP Arena 29.05 66

UEFA defends its decision

Responding to the FSE's allegations, the European federation announced that after extensive discussions with the local authorities regarding logistical operations, as well as the designated access routes to the ends of the stadium occupied by supporters of each of the finalists, it has been decided that the two clubs that reach the final can receive a maximum of 12,000 tickets each.

The decision, despite widespread dissatisfaction, therefore seems irrevocable, so the finalists will have to make do with a pool of 12,000 tickets. Currently, the quarter-finalists are AC Milan against Roma, Atalanta against Liverpool, Benfica against Olympique Marseille and West Ham against Bayer Leverkusen for further play in the knockout stages of the Europa League. Jürgen Klopp's team appeared to be the clear favourite to win the cup before the quarterfinals kicked-off, but now Bayer under Xabi Alonso is in a better position to fight for the title.

Aviva Stadium (Lansdowne Road, Dublin Arena)© William Murphy (cc: by-sa) /