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UEFA thinks Europa League final in Dublin could be challenging

UEFA is preparing for the possibility of a “highly challenging” scenario: a Europa League final between Rangers and Liverpool in Dublin.

The governing body has secured the 82,000-capacity Croke Park stadium as a potential fan zone. However, there are concerns that even this venue might not be sufficient to accommodate all the fans who could flock to Dublin without tickets to experience the atmosphere for the match scheduled for Wednesday, May 22.

Both Rangers and Liverpool boast significant fan bases in Ireland. Both clubs are still in contention to reach the final at the Aviva Stadium.

Rangers are currently level with Benfica heading into the second leg at Ibrox on Thursday, while Liverpool holds a commanding 5-1 lead over Sparta Prague with the return leg at Anfield yet to come.

There are other permutations too which may also prove a headache for UEFA, whose general secretary Theodore Theodoridis said on Tuesday: “One of the biggest challenges for us this year could be the Europa League final.

“Under certain conditions, because of the potential teams that could qualify, this might end up being the most challenging for us.

“We know they will bring a number of supporters without tickets and then there is the issue of potential public viewing venues.

UEFA believes the Europa League final could be ‘extremely challenging’

There are a few potential matchups—I won’t mention specific names, but you can figure it out—that would pose significant challenges in accommodating all the fans present for that game.

“We have already reserved Croke Park as a potential public viewing venue, but that could not be enough.

“There are a couple of pairings – I won’t speculate on the names but you are clever enough to work it out – that would be extremely challenging to find ways to accommodate everybody that will be present for that game.

“We are working on this already, together with the local authorities and also Football Supporters Europe.

“If we do get to one of those scenarios, we will also go to the supporters of the clubs involved to find the best solution.

“The biggest problem we have now is whether Croke Park would be big enough – because we think we would need more alternatives for public viewing for the people who will be in Dublin.

“It’s not an easy operation and it is just for a couple of scenarios which would make it extremely complicated – especially with clubs who already have a large fanbase on the island of Ireland.

“But we are working on it and will involve the fanbases as well. We have to see who gets to the semis and then we will start to work with them as well.”

Ethan Dempsey
Ethan Dempsey
Ethan is a lifelong football fan. When he is not obsessing over the Premier League games, Ethan likes to read fantasy tomes, watch football documentaries and waste hours upon hours on video games.
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