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UEFA admit a Liverpool vs Rangers Europa League final in Dublin could be 'extremely challenging' – as they brace for a huge influx of supporters – and fear 82,000 fan park Croke Park ISN'T big enough

UEFA have admitted that a potential Europa League final between Liverpool and Rangers in Dublin could prove to be ‘extremely challenging’. 

The Aviva Stadium will host the final on May 22, with UEFA stating that they have been bracing for an influx of supporters for the event. 

Amid the prospect of an all-British final, with the organisation anticipating that many fans could arive in the Irish city without a ticket, UEFA have reserved the 82,000-capacity Croke Park as a fan zone.    

Jurgen Klopp‘s side are the favourites to win the tournament this season, having gone 5-1 up in their first Round of 16 clash against Sparta Prague. Rangers, meanwhile, will host Benfica on Thursday evening, having played out a 2-2 draw in their previous leg. 

Both teams have large followings in Ireland, but UEFA seem still concerned that their plan to hire out the iconic Gaelic games stadium will not be enough to cope with the number of fans set to arrive in the city.

Liverpool were followed by an estimated 60,000 fans for their Champions League final in 2022, while a reported 100,000 Rangers supporters followed them to their 2022 final against Eintracht Frankfurt in Seville. 

UEFA have admitted they are concerned that a large number of fans could arrive in Dublin if Liverpool and Rangers reach this year's Europa League final

UEFA have admitted they are concerned that a large number of fans could arrive in Dublin if Liverpool and Rangers reach this year’s Europa League final 

The governing body have already reserved the 82,000 capacity Croke Park in anticipation of an influx in fans

The governing body have already reserved the 82,000 capacity Croke Park in anticipation of an influx in fans

Liverpool are the favourites to win the Europa League this season, having gone 5-1 up in their previous Round of 16 clash against Sparta Prague

Liverpool are the favourites to win the Europa League this season, having gone 5-1 up in their previous Round of 16 clash against Sparta Prague 

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‘Under certain conditions, because of the potential teams that could qualify, this might end up being the most challenging for us,’ UEFA general secretary Theodore Theodoridis said on Tuesday. 

‘We know they will bring a number of supporters without tickets and then there is the issue of potential public viewing venues. We have already reserved Croke Park as a potential public viewing venue, but that could not be enough.

‘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.’

Rangers reached the final of the tournament last season, but were agonisingly beaten by Frankfurt in Seville 5-4 on penalties. 

Several other big teams, who could also bring large followings, are still in the tournament, with Marseille currently 4-0 up against Villarreal, AC Milan ahead in their knockout fixture against Slavia Prague and Roma 4-0 ahead against Brighton. 

‘We are working on this already, together with the local authorities and also Football Supporters Europe,’ Theodoridis added. 

‘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.’

UEFA general secretary Theodore Theodoridis said: 'Because of the potential teams that could qualify, this might end up being the most challenging for us'

UEFA general secretary Theodore Theodoridis said: ‘Because of the potential teams that could qualify, this might end up being the most challenging for us’

Last season's runners up, Rangers drew 2-2 to Benfica in their first Round of 16 leg

Last season’s runners up, Rangers drew 2-2 to Benfica in their first Round of 16 leg 

The final will be hosted at the 51,700-capacity Aviva Stadium in Dublin on May 22

The final will be hosted at the 51,700-capacity Aviva Stadium in Dublin on May 22 

It comes after UEFA have faced criticism in recent years for their preparedness for European showpiece events. 

Last season, Manchester City fans blasted the organisation for the treatment of fans at the Champions League final in Istanbul. 

Many City supportes traveled to the Turkish capital for the event, but had recounted how they almost missed the match because of traffic hold ups. Others hit out at the amount of queues, prices and lack of facilities at the Ataturk Olympic stadium. 

A damning report also found that UEFA held ‘primary responsibility’ for the chaotic scenes that unfolded at the 2021-22 Champions League final in Paris between Liverpool and Real Madrid. 

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