Europa League: Uefa defends St Jakob-Park for Liverpool v Sevilla final

St Jakob Park
St Jakob-Park was a host stadium during the 2008 European Championship

Uefa has defended its decision to host the Europa League final at St Jakob-Park, which has a capacity of 35,000.

The home of Swiss club FC Basel will become the second smallest venue to host the competition's final when Liverpool face Sevilla there on 18 May.

The executive committee of European football's governing body made its decision in September 2014.

"Of course, it is impossible to predict in advance which clubs will reach the final," Uefa said on its website.

"Europe's largest stadiums are usually selected to host the Champions League final, and Uefa tends to select slightly smaller, top-quality venues for the Europa League final.

"This means Uefa can give more of its national associations an opportunity to host a club final, and gives fans across Europe the chance to experience a major final in their home nation."

Liverpool have been allocated 10,236 tickets for the final, with Sevilla given a similar amount.

An additional 8,000 went on general sale, with the remainder taken by the local organising committee, national associations, commercial partners, broadcasters and the corporate hospitality programme.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, whose side overturned a first-leg deficit to beat Villarreal in the semi-finals, said he could find "30 million people who want to see the game".

"It is a wonderful opportunity for all of us to play this final but we cannot change the stadium so we cannot think about this," he said.

"I have been to Basel one or two times, it is a wonderful stadium and a wonderful city.

"It is even worth going there without having a ticket for the game to be around the stadium and enjoy yourself and enjoy life as a Liverpool supporter."

However, the club has urged supporters who do not have a ticket not to travel to the Swiss city for the final.

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