Arsenal and Chelsea have returned over half of their combined allocation of 12,000 tickets for next week’s Europa League final due to the difficulty and great expense for fans travelling to Azerbaijan.

Arsenal and Chelsea have returned over half of their combined allocation of 12,000 tickets for next week’s Europa League final due to the difficulty and great expense for fans travelling to Azerbaijan.

A lack of direct flights between London and Baku means supporters face costs of over £1,000 just to make the 5,000-mile round trip before tickets and accommodation are taken into account.

Arsenal had initially complained over their small allocation, but confirmed to AFP that they have returned 2,200 tickets for the Gunners’ first European final in 13 years.

AFP understands that Chelsea have sold just 2,000 of their 6,000 allocation.

UEFA denied reports that sponsors had also returned tickets and said they were confident that local fans will snap up the spare tickets to ensure there is a capacity crowd at the 68,000 Olympic Stadium.

“The majority of these tickets have already been sold to local fans in Azerbaijan and we are confident that the remaining ones will also be sold as demand is very high,” UEFA said in a statement to AFP.

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