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UEFA has confirmed plans to allow up to 9,500 fans attend this season’s Europa League final in Gdansk, Poland, which may yet stage an all-English encounter between familiar foes.
Manchester United are on the verge of their second appearance in the competition’s climax after beating AS Roma 6-2 in the first leg of their semi-final.
Arsenal’s future is less certain after they succumbed 2-1 away to Unai Emery’s Villarreal in their opening segment, where both teams finished with 10 men on the field.
European football’s governing body announced each finalist will receive 2,000 tickets, while 2,000 will be sold to the general public. The remaining 3,500 tickets will be distributed to “local organising committee, UEFA and national associations, commercial partners and broadcasters.”
The Polish government has reached an agreement with UEFA to fill around 25 per cent of the PGE Arena Gdansk for the final on May 26.
However, attendees must still comply with coronavirus restrictions in their respective countries, meaning potential quarantines for those returning to the UK from Poland.
The UK government is expected to ease travel restrictions on May 17, when a traffic light system will determine the length of quarantine required, or whether travel is permitted at all.
Those returning from countries under the ‘red’ allocation must quarantine in a government-approved hotel, while ‘amber’ destinations will require a 10-day isolation period at home.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently told reporters of the need to be cautious after softening travel restrictions:
“We do want to do some opening up on May 17 but I don't think that the people of this country want to see an influx of disease from anywhere else.
“I certainly don't and we have got to be very, very tough, and we have got to be as cautious as we can, whilst we continue to open up.”
UEFA also announced a negative COVID-19 test may be required to gain access to the final, and full refunds will be issued to those buying tickets if the allowance is reduced prior to May 26.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is targeting his first major final as United manager, with the club hoping to clinch its second Europa League crown after beating Ajax in the 2017 decider.
Arsenal counterpart Mikel Arteta will be desperate to overturn the deficit against Villarreal, especially as the Europa League presents the club’s only viable route back into Europe next season.
The Gunners trail a familiar face in Emery, who has proved a master of this competition after lifting the Europa League three times with Sevilla (2014-16) before leading Arsenal to the final in 2019.
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- Arsenal FC
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