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“Robust policing plans are essential for Europa League final to prevent chaos in Dublin” - Barry Andrews MEP

Barry Andrews, Fianna Fáil MEP for Dublin, is calling for comprehensive policing arrangements ahead of the UEFA Europa League final scheduled for May 22nd in Dublin. This call to action arises amidst expressed concerns from UEFA General Secretary Theodore Theodoridis, who highlighted the potential challenges surrounding the Europa League final.

With the match set for the Aviva Stadium and the possibility of Croke Park, with its 82,000-person capacity, being designated as a fan zone by European football's governing body, there are concerns regarding the capacity to accommodate the influx of fans into the city.

Andrews emphasised the necessity of robust policing strategies, stating, "Given the significant fan bases of the teams vying for the final, it is essential that adequate measures are in place to ensure safety and security. With the eyes of the footballing world set on Dublin, it is crucial to avoid incidents akin to the unfortunate events involving Liverpool fans in Paris during the 2022 Champions League final."

Reflecting on past incidents, particularly the Europa League final in Seville in 2022, Andrews stressed the importance of proactive measures to prevent clashes between supporters, citing previous confrontations between Rangers and Frankfurt fans. He remarked, "We must take proactive steps to prevent Dublin from descending into chaos. We cannot afford a repeat of the scenes witnessed in Seville, where violence marred the event.”

“While the economic benefits this game will have on Dublin will be immense, I cannot help but recall footage of fans clashing in the streets while locals ran for cover in the 2022 final. This cannot be the case in Dublin in May."

Andrews underscored the heightened significance of crowd control measures, noting the unprecedented convergence of fans in Dublin, with both the Aviva Stadium and potentially Croke Park set to be at capacity. He expressed concern that, should teams like Rangers and Liverpool advance to the final, the overflow of supporters onto the streets and into bars could pose significant challenges.

In conclusion, Andrews, a lifelong West Ham supporter confessed, “While I would love to see my childhood team, West Ham, in the final, the presence of Liverpool would undoubtedly energise the city, given their passionate Irish following."

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