The farce surrounding the upcoming Europa League final on 29th May continues to develop day-by-day, with the criticism hitting UEFA reaching unprecedented heights.
European footballs governing body made the call to host this years final at the Baku Olympic Stadium in Azerbaijan, with London duo Arsenal and Chelsea progressing through to the final.
The 69,000 capacity stadium looks like a magnificent venue for this huge game but the practicality of it is absolutely absurd, with fans of each club being given a measly 6000 tickets each. Ridiculous when Arsenal's Emirates Stadium holds 60000 and Stamford Bridge 41000.
Well today this story took another turn and it's something that's only going to increase anger amongst Gunners fans significantly, after Arsenal today announced that midfield man Henrikh Mkhitaryan will miss the final.
The ongoing political unrest between Azerbaijan and Armenia (Mkhitaryan's homeland) means that his safety is under risk and the club confirmed that after discussions with both the player and his family, it was best for him to remain away from the final.
A statement on the Gunners Official website reads:
"We have thoroughly explored all the options for Micki to be part of the squad but after discussing this with Micki and his family we have collectively agreed he will not be in our travelling party. We have written to Uefa expressing our deep concerns about this situation.
Micki has been a key player in our run to the final so this is a big loss for us from a team perspective.We’re also very sad that a player will miss out on a major European final in circumstances such as this, as it is something that comes along very rarely in a footballer’s career. Micki will continue to be part of our preparations until we depart for Baku at the weekend."
This is just another chapter in the ongoing farce surrounding the final and UEFA have some serious questions to answer to in awarding Baku the final.
Arsenal's statement surrounding Mkhitaryan is their second since their place in the final was booked, after initially voicing their concerns for travelling supporters and the ticketing situation.
Away from both clubs being given just 6000 tickets each, it was also revealed that Baku airport (the only one in the city) can deal with the demand of 15000 people. So who knows what is going to happen on match day and how they even won the rights to host such an event in the first place.
AND even on top of that it's been revealed that the Azerbaijani government announced that the local population will be restricted from entering the city centre from 25th-31st May in order a comfortable stay for football fans. Which in turn means that citizens can't visit the independence statue on 28th May, their Republic Day.
The plot continues to thicken and hopefully everything runs smoothly for all the fans making the mammoth trip over there. UEFA on the other hand, this simply cannot happen again. Absolute Farce.