Arsene Wenger has branded the decision to host the Europa League Final in Baku as a “nightmare.”
Former Arsenal boss Wenger joined the chorus of disapproval on UEFA staging the all-English final against Chelsea in Azerbaijan’s capital, insisting it is the fans of the two clubs who will be made to suffer.
“It’s a little bit a nightmare,” said Wenger, in a rare interview since leaving Arsenal 12 months ago after 22 years as manager.
“It’s the same for both teams, always. A final is a final. I don’t think it will… The teams do not have such a problem, they live in ideal conditions, they have a private jet, they have nice business seats. It’s the fans.
“That (Mkhitaryan) is something that should not happen in football, in the modern world. Politically, you cannot play a football game.”
Both Arsenal and Chelsea have so far sold less than half of their 6,000 allocation each for the showpiece final in Baku.
Fans have struggled to get flights and hotels for the game with UEFA under fire for staging the Arsenal-Chelsea contest 3,000 miles from London.
Wenger will not be going to the final either, and has also deliberately chosen not to be a TV pundit on the game for fear of being seen as in any way critical of his former club or successor Unai Emery.
* Arsene Wenger has joined a new football tech company, PlayerMaker, as an investor and operating partner. He has overseen the development of a microchip system which players can wear on their boots to analyse every aspect of performance. The former Arsenal manager said: “Science can help make players stronger when used with data well – you can measure everything, after that it’s about how you use it. I believe that PlayerMaker is the best available solution to measure performance.”
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