Arsenal say Baku 'unacceptable' as Europa League final host

Arsenal fans are excited after Rob Holding posted a cryptic Europa League final tweet

Arsenal fans are excited after Rob Holding posted a cryptic Europa League final tweet

Travel to Baku is also proving an issue for those fans who have qualified for a match ticket, with supporters heading out from London facing a round trip of 5,000 miles to attend the game.

And there's a good chance the Arsenal and Chelsea sections will be rather empty after the Evening Standard reported that both clubs are struggling to sell tickets.

It should be a pulsating clash, and yet a lot of Arsenal and Chelsea fans will be forced to watch the final at home due to it being in Azerbaijan.

Arsenal are also talking to the Foreign Office after season-ticket holders with dual United Kingdom and Armenian citizenship were denied visas to visit Baku because of tensions with neighbouring Azerbaijan.

"It will be a tough game", said 25-year-old Barkley.

Elkhan Mammadov, the general secretary of the Azerbaijan FA, said Mkhitaryan's security is "guaranteed" in Baku. Arsenal's decision will be confirmed by early next week at the latest, but they are not optimistic about a positive resolution.

In an open letter response to Arsenal, Uefa wrote: "I would like to give you a bit of depth with this reply". We would welcome a joint effort with your club in this respect.

The governing body have now stressed they are "keenly working" to find cheaper travel options for fans but said they could not have anticipated two teams from London would make the final when the venue was chosen two years ago.

"Sadly, many (fans) have already decided that the cost and logistical difficulty of reaching the designated venue, Baku, means that they can not attend", a joint statement read.

"We're really sorry for the problems your (and Chelsea's) fans are encountering trying to organise their journey to Baku".

UEFA has already sought to defend that call, with journey time and costs taken into account, and have now endeavoured to offer further clarity to Arsenal and anybody else questioning their logic.

Liverpool and Tottenham supporters have also complained about the limited number of tickets given to both clubs for the Champions League final, in Madrid on 1 June.

Indeed, it's feared the Blues will have less fans inside the stadium than their London rivals, with one source claiming only 600 Chelsea season ticket holders have committed.

"I trust your understanding as men of sport and representatives of a club with a long and glorious tradition and solid sporting principles".