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12th Mar 2024

UEFA want to put Rangers fans in Croke Park fan zone if they reach Europa League final

Lee Costello

“We have already reserved Croke Park as a potential public viewing venue.”

The idea of Rangers fans standing in Croke Park to support their beloved club as they compete for European honours is almost too crazy to imagine, but it is a very real possibility.

The Europa League final this year is set to be played in the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, and romantic Liverpool fans are hoping that it will be the perfect place to see off Jurgen Klopp in his final game, and hopefully with a trophy in his arms.

However, due to the huge interest surrounding this goodbye tour that Klopp has found himself on – and the growing momentum of certain teams with enormous fanbases progressing in the tournament – UEFA is becoming concerned about Dublin’s ability to host the final.

The match will be played at the 51,700 capacity Aviva Stadium on 22 May with tickets priced between £80 and £1,700.

If Liverpool and Bayer Leverkusen both make it to the final, the game could see their current beloved manager taking on his potential successor Xabi Alonso.

UEFA general secretary Theodore Theodoridis said on Tuesday that the Europa final had already been identified as a possible flashpoint this summer.

“Under certain conditions, because of the potential teams that could qualify, this might end up being the most challenging for us,” Theodoridis said.

“We know they will bring a number of supporters without tickets and then there is the issue of potential public viewing venues.

“There are a couple of pairings – I won’t speculate on the names but you are clever enough to work it out – that would be extremely challenging to find ways to accommodate everybody that will be present for that game.

“We have already reserved Croke Park as a potential public viewing venue, but that could not be enough. We are working on this already, together with the local authorities and also Football Supporters Europe.

“If we do get to one of those scenarios, we will also go to the supporters of the clubs involved to find the best solution.

“The biggest problem we have now is whether Croke Park would be big enough – because we think we would need more alternatives for public viewing for the people who will be in Dublin.

“It’s not an easy operation and it is just for a couple of scenarios which would make it extremely complicated – especially with clubs who already have a large fanbase on the island of Ireland.

“But we are working on it and will involve the fanbases as well. We have to see who gets to the semis and then we will start to work with them as well.”

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