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Arsenal face 3000 mile round trip for home tie against Benfica as Europa League venues confirmed

Arsenal are facing a 3000 mile round trip to complete their home fixture in the Europa League against Benfica, with UEFA confirming that the tie will take place in Athens.

Due to COVID restrictions, Benfica’s home tie will be taking place at Stadio Olimpico in Rome next week.

And the Gunners’ home tie, scheduled for the week after on February 25, will now be taking place at Stadio Georgios Karaiskakis, home of Olympiacos in Athens.

The tie had to be moved due to the UK’s rules banning travel from Portugal, meaning the Gunners will have to pay compensation to Benfica amounting to 10 per cent of the match fee – meaning they will owe the Portuguese club around £44,000.

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There was initial doubt about whether the match would be able to be fielded in Athens due to Greece heading into a new lockdown, but UEFA have now confirmed that the venue will be used as Arsenal’s designated home ground.

Away goals will still count in the event of a draw after two legs, despite neither side playing ‘at home’.

Arsenal’s home game will now be taking place 1485 miles from London,…