Gellard Mallcom: Azerbaijan has as much right to host Europa League final as any other European country
It is safe for sports fans in Azerbaijan, Irish fan Gellard Mallcom, who arrived in Baku for the UEFA Europa League final match between the English clubs Arsenal and Chelsea, said today, speaking with Vestnik Kavkaza.
Mallcom refuted the opinion of Arsenal's midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan on the insufficient security in Azerbaijan. “We feel as safe here as in Ireland. It's our first time in Azerbaijan, we wouldn’t have a chance to come here if it wasn't for the Europa League final. My impressions of Baku are very good, it’s very nice here, the city is beautiful and clean, people are very friendly," he stressed.
The Irish fan noted that the statement of one of the English coaches that hosting the Europa League final by Azerbaijan is unaceptable is not consistent. "Why would Azerbaijan not host the final? We are from Ireland, and international football tournaments are rare there. I think the finals should not always be held only in England, Germany and France. Azerbaijan has as much right to host Europa League final, because it's part of Europe. Europe is not just England, Germany and France," Gellard Mallcom said.
"Yes, the journey from Ireland, which is even farther from Azerbaijan than England, was long, but I am very glad that I came here. I love this place. When two years ago they announced that the final will be held in Baku, we immediately thought: 'Excellent! Let's go!'" the Irish fan concluded.
The UEFA Europa League final match between the English clubs Arsenal and Chelsea will take place today at the Baku Olympic Stadium. The match will start at 23:00 (GMT+4).