Travel company World Choice Sports announced on Thursday that it had been forced to cancel three separate trips, one departing on Friday and two on Saturday, with Kiev’s Boryspil airport unable to allocate times for its aircraft.
The company claimed it had “exhausted all avenues” and that it had “applied for [landing] slots in the correct manner and time frame”. Apologising and placing the blame squarely at he door of the Ukrainian authorities, it said supporters, who have paid close to £1,000 for their trips, would be issued with refunds.
Liverpool, though, say they will work with all relevant authorities to find a resolution.
A statement on the Reds’ official website said: “Liverpool Football Club is continuing to work with all of the relevant stakeholders in the UK and Ukraine in an attempt to resolve a situation which has left around 1,000 fans without flights to Kiev for the Champions League final.
“Flights chartered by World Choice Sports had been set to take supporters to Ukraine, but a dispute between the Widnes-based travel company and the aviation authorities in Kiev over the size of the aircraft has led to the trips being cancelled.
“Along with officials from Liverpool John Lennon Airport, Liverpool City Council, UEFA and the authorities in Kiev, Liverpool FC has been endeavouring to resolve the issue since it first came to light and will continue to do so until all avenues have been exhausted.”
Meanwhile Joe Anderson, the Mayor Liverpool, Tweeted that he was working with his opposite number in Kiev, former World Champion boxer Vitali Klitschko, in order to find a solution.
Regardless of whether a solution is found or not – Goal understands that Liverpool are hopeful of a resolution – the episode is yet another in what has become a stressful ordeal for many supporters hoping to see their side in European football’s biggest club game.
With match tickets costing as much as £400 – and many being sold for three times that on the black market – and accommodation prices in Kiev rocketing, many Reds have been forced to spend upwards of £1500 to make the trip. Some are paying in excess of £1000 for just a day trip.
Liverpool’s players flew out of John Lennon Airport on Thursday afternoon, and will train at the NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium on Friday.
Meanwhile, for many of their supporters there will be an anxious wait.