Hundreds of Liverpool fans face missing out on seeing the Champions League final in Kiev this weekend after three flights to Ukraine were cancelled.
The three planes were due to transport Liverpool fans to the Ukrainian capital where their team faces Real Madrid, however Kiev’s Boryspil Airport says it cannot cope with the influx of carriers and doesn’t have enough landing spots to accommodate the flights.
Travel company World Choice Sports, who organised the travel for many Liverpool supporters, released a statement on their website explaining the cancellations and promising refunds for all passengers affected.
They said: “We have exhausted all avenues to try and get landing slots. We have had them from Liverpool airport and Manchester Airport and we have applied for slots in the correct manner and timeframe with the authorities. To reiterate, this problem IS with Kiev.”
Ensuring travellers that all other flights were unaffected, the company added: “At this stage we can only make a huge apology and are very sorry let you down on this occasion.”
World Choice Sports said they are working with Liverpool FC, the police and Uefa to try and resolve the situation.
The mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, has also stepped in to try and find a solution that will enable those affected by the flight cancellations to make it out to Kiev in time for the final, with some only planning to head out on day-return trips.
“This morning we will try and get an urgent update from World Choice Sports on why we have a shambles regarding fans flights, after the concessions made by airport yesterday,” Mr Anderson said on Twitter. “Will keep searching for solutions until none left.”
The final has already been dogged with controversy, following the news that each team was allocated just 16,000 tickets to the final, with the rest being sold off in corporate packages.
The NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Kiev where the final will be taking place has a capacity of 70,000, meaning more than half of the seats will be filled by the corporate packages, which former Liverpool boss Roy Evans called a “disgrace” on Twitter.
Football fans from Britain and Spain have also faced massively inflated prices for flights and hotels, along with tickets to the game being resold on websites with huge mark-ups.
Many supporters have taken to Twitter to blame Uefa for staging the final in a city with an insufficient travel infrastructure.
Others have claimed they will instead attempt to drive the 1,500 miles to Kiev.
Footage also surfaced online of a reported attack on Liverpool fans in a Kiev restaurant, allegedly carried out by a ‘masked gang’, according to witnesses.
The video shows a brawl taking place in a restaurant, however it is unclear how the violence started.
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