Rangers vs Liverpool final in Dublin could be 'extremely challenging'

Rangers host Benfica at Ibrox in the second-leg of their last-16 tie after a 2-2 draw in Lisbon.

Rangers vs Liverpool in Dublin final could prove ‘extremely challenging’ for UEFA SNS Group

UEFA has admitted that a Europa League final between Rangers and Liverpool in Dublin could prove “extremely challenging”.

Both sides remain in the competition and have a good chance of reaching the quarter-finals after good results in the last-16 first legs.

The governing body is now bracing itself for the challenges such a fixture could present due to the number of supporters that could descend upon the Irish capital for the game.

Croke Park, with an 82,000 capacity, has been reserved as a potential fan zone for the final that will be played on Wednesday, May 22.

But there are concerns that even that might not be enough to accommodate everyone who may come to Dublin without a ticket to soak up the atmosphere for the match if two clubs with such a large fanbase throughout Ireland and nearby UK reach that stage.

Rangers reached the final of the competition in 2022 and Liverpool are the favourites to lift the trophy so a game between the pair cannot be ruled out.

The Ibrox side are level with Benfica heading into the second leg at Ibrox on Thursday after a 2-2 draw in Lisbon, and Liverpool 5-1 up against Sparta Prague.

UEFA secretary Theodore Theodoridis never named the clubs but he made it clear that there are certain permutations that could prove to be a headache.

He said: “One of the biggest challenges for us this year 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.

“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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