UEFA defends choice of Europa League venue

The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) has defended its decision to stage the Europa League final at St Jakob-Park, amidst criticism over the size of the stadium.

Home to Swiss club FC Basel, the stadium has a capacity of 35,000, and just over 10,000 tickets have been made available to Liverpool supporters, while Sevilla have been allocated a similar amount.

The remaining tickets have been made available for general sale, while the local organising committee, national associations, commercial partners and broadcasters have also been allocated tickets.

The Champions League final, which will be hosted by the San Siro in Milan, has a capacity of just over 80,000, promoting fans of the Europa League finalists to express their dissatisfaction with the choice of venue for Europe’s second-tier competition.

“Of course, it is impossible to predict in advance which clubs will reach the final,” UEFA said on its website.

“Europe’s largest stadiums are usually selected to host the Champions League final, and UEFA tends to select slightly smaller, top-quality venues for the Europa League final.

“This means UEFA can give more of its national associations an opportunity to host a club final, and gives fans across Europe the chance to experience a major final in their home nation.”