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Sports chief backs Baku to impress

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Last Updated: 16/05/19 8:34pm

2:38 Azerbaijan sports minister Azad Rahimov has defended the decision to make Baku the host venue for the Europa League final Azerbaijan sports minister Azad Rahimov has defended the decision to make Baku the host venue for the Europa League final

Azerbaijan's Minister of Sports, Azad Rahimov, defended the decision to make Baku the host venue for the Europa League final.

UEFA has been criticised for selecting Baku, with some fans saying it is an isolated city in comparison with other potential European venues.

Rahimov said the nature of European football means all cities within the continent are in contention, and has backed his countrymen to make it a memorable journey for any fans making the trip.

"This is Europe, and any city has a chance to host such an event, and that's really good," said Rahimov.

"I believe that everybody getting acquainted with our beautiful city, with our hospitality, will be happy to be back again."

Rahimov says Baku airport is braced for the increased traffic expected on the weekend of the Europa final, and that plans are in place to keep queues to a minimum.

"Our airport can absorb approximately 7,000 to 10,000 people within two hours - that's the official reports we had today from Azerbaijan Airlines, airport services and the border troops.

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"It's important not to keep people a long time to receive a visa at the airport and pay for the visa.

"The maximum time for people arriving and passing all the stages of airport services has to be no more than 25 to 30 seconds."

The 54-year-old says there has been a focus on security in general, but that he's not expecting trouble between the two sets of fans.

"We've had a lot of training with our security services, and the stewards in the stadium itself will be trained to prevent any kind of security problem.

"That's the only thing we're thinking about at the moment; the behaviour of the fans. But my personal opinion is that fans of Arsenal and Chelsea are not enemies and nothing will happen here in Baku."

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