Aldo: UEFA are belittling Europa League final with venue choice

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Liverpool fans on their way to Basel
Liverpool fans on their way to Basel

Liverpool goal scoring great John Aldridge has hit out at UEFA's decision to stage this season's Europa League final in a stadium with a capacity below 40,000.

Liverpool will take on Europa League holders Sevilla in this season's final in Basel's St Jakob Park on May 18th, with Reds boss Jurgen Klopp predicting as many as 100,000 Reds fans will want to gain entry into the game.

However, Liverpool are likely to get an official allocation of around 10,000 tickets, which will spark a mass scramble for fans to witness their club's first European final since 2007.

Aldo believes UEFA have made a huge mistake in picking Basel as the venue for the final, as he suggests it devalues the prestige of a competition that offers a place in next season's Champions League to the winners.

"If UEFA want to promote the Europa League as a big competition that top teams want to win, why would they agree to play the final a piddly stadium in Switzerland that is not big enough to stage the event," asks Aldo.

"St Jakob Park in Basel is host stadium for the final and it holds a little over 35,000 fans, yet Liverpool could fill that three times over for the final.

"I know these things are decided in advance, but UEFA would be wise to have a couple of venues at their disposal and pick the one that best suits the teams involved.

"UEFA want the Europa League to be taken seriously, so they should  play the final at one of the world’s top stadiums. A venue with a decent capacity. What a cock-up."

Liverpool will discover their ticket allocations for the Basel final imminently, with the scramble for plane and train tickets already underway for their army of supporters around the world.