UEFA forced Rabotnichki to play its Europa league qualifier in the hot part of the day starting from 18.00 CET.
UEFA doesn’t care for the small clubs. That’s what we can conclude after UEFA forced Rabotnichki to play the Europa League first qualifying round game against Budućnost under the hot Skopje sun instead in the evening when the temperatures are more normal.
Rabotnichki was informed that they must play their game on Tuesday and end before the Champions League games scheduled for the same day. Secretary general Nenad Momev commented on the club’s official web site: “UEFA directed us the time not to match the Champions League games, which means that 18.00 CET is the last available kick-off time.”
It is unclear how is that possible since the four Round 1 Champions League qualification games are all scheduled for the same day with one appointed to kick-off at 18.00 CET, other at 19.00 CET and two at 20.00 CET. In any case Rabotnichki’s game would match those of the Champions League. But this rule doesn’t stand for Irish side St. Patricks whose Europa League game against Jeunesse Esch was approved for 20.45 CET.
Now, the players of both teams are destined to play under the hot Skopje sun with temperatures that these days have gotten up to 39C. Not much fans are expected to show up for the game as well, the reason is of course the bad kick-off time. At least Rabotnichki decided to only open the South stand of the National Arena Philip II of Macedon which in that time will be under shadow so it can offer some minimal comfort. The tickets are already available with a price of 150 Denars.