Why a Liverpool vs Rangers final in Dublin could prove challenging

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Why a Liverpool vs Rangers final in Dublin could prove challenging

UEFA is making contingency plans for the “extremely challenging” possibility of a Liverpool vs Rangers Europa League final in Dublin in May.

European football’s governing body has reserved the 82,000-capacity Croke Park stadium as a public viewing venue, but is concerned even that might not be enough to accommodate everyone who may come to Dublin without a ticket to soak up the atmosphere for what could be Jurgen Klopp’s last game as Liverpool manager.

Clubs with big followings such as Liverpool, Rangers, Roma, AC Milan, West Ham United and Marseille are all still in the competition and all could all be in Friday’s quarter-final draw.

The final 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 Klopp taking on his potential successor Xabi Alonso.

Without naming any clubs, UEFA general secretary Theodore Theodoridis said on Tuesday that the Europa final had already been identified as a possible flashpoint this summer.

Jurgen Klopp to leave Liverpool

Image: Jurgen Klopp is to leave Liverpool at the end of the season – his last game could be the Europa League final

“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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