UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin hits out at Arsenal and Chelsea Europa League final backlash
"Whenever we have English clubs, whenever we have complaints, you don't help yourself in the popularity within European football with that."
By Joe Tanner
Last Updated: 15/06/19 10:14am
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin says English clubs don't help themselves "in the popularity within European football" after the backlash from Arsenal and Chelsea surrounding the venue and location choice of this year's Europa League final in Baku.
Gunners midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan opted not to play in their 4-1 defeat following concerns about the Armenian national's status in the Caucasus state because of diplomatic friction between the two nations.
In a talk at Oxford University on Friday, the UEFA president hit out at English clubs for their conduct and approach towards the final venue choice.
Ceferin said: "Whenever we have English clubs, whenever we have complaints. You don't help yourself in the popularity within European football with that.
"If somebody asks me why we played in Baku, I would say: People live there, homo sapiens live there.
"If we have two Azerbaijani teams playing in London nobody would complain. They would come and play without any problems.
"We decided a year and a half ago that we play in Baku which has a modern stadium of 70,000. I think there is only one stadium in England that is bigger.
"They had to watch the game at 11pm because of the time difference but nobody complained.
"We have to develop football everywhere not England, Germany only," he added.
'We had 62,000 tickets in Madrid [for the Champions League final] and 980,000 requests. If we would play for example in Wembley we would have 30,000 more [tickets].
"Probably that as a top, top, top event should be played only at the top venues. But Europa League and everything else should be shared with the others who love football."