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Europa League: Arsenal fans label BATE Borisov kick-off time 'ridiculous' after UEFA give Chelsea priority

PUBLISHED: 13:29 17 December 2018

Arsenal will  play BATE Borisov in the last 32 of the UEFA Europa League.London.PA

Arsenal will play BATE Borisov in the last 32 of the UEFA Europa League.London.PA

PA Archive/PA Images

Arsenal fans have gone into meltdown after it was announced on Monday that the second leg of their round of 32 match-up against BATE Borisov will be played on Wednesday, February 20 with a 5pm kick off.

FC BATE Borisov's Yevgeniy Yablonskiy (left) and Arsenal's Ainsley Maitland-Niles battle for the ball during last season's UEFA Europa League clash at the Emirates. Nick Potts/PA WireFC BATE Borisov's Yevgeniy Yablonskiy (left) and Arsenal's Ainsley Maitland-Niles battle for the ball during last season's UEFA Europa League clash at the Emirates. Nick Potts/PA Wire

The news was broken prior to the draw, and Arsenal fans were not happy with UEFA’s decision.

The decision comes as Chelsea’s game will be played at home on Thursday, February 21, and so to avoid the two clashing, Arsenal’s game will take place 24 hours before.

The 5pm start is to avoid a clash with early Champions League games on the Wednesday. UEFA revealed Chelsea have priority as domnestic cup winners.

With the usual time for kick off in European competition is 7.45pm or 8pm, bringing the game forward three hours is a decision that hasn’t gone down well with fans.

The Europa League trophy (pic: PA)The Europa League trophy (pic: PA)

The Arsenal Supporters Trust tweeted their concern over the games proposed time: “The proposed kick off time of 5pm for the Europa League game at the Emirates v Bate of 5pm is ridiculous. The AST is calling on Arsenal to make the strongest representations to UEFA to have this changed. Don’t they understand football without fans is nothing” @AST_arsenal.

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