Athletic Bilbao fans to watch Europa League home games for free

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Athletic Bilbao will allow club members to watch their remaining Europa League home games for free.

Fans are disenchanted following the team’s poor run of form in La Liga. The Basque outfit has not won since Jan. 7, a 2-0 win at home to Alaves, and have mustered three points, all from draws, in their last four league games to drop 13th in La Liga.

Supporters were left disappointed after Sunday’s 2-0 defeat at Girona and the club hopes to appease them with this initiative.

An Athletic statement said: “Athletic Club has decided, in an extraordinary measure, that their club members will not have to pay any fee to watch the next Europa League games at the San Mames stadium during the 2017-18 campaign.

“Hence, the game against Spartak Moscow of February 22 will be free for all members with the only requirement to bring with them the membership card.”

Athletic play away to Spartak Moscow in the Europa League round-of-32 tie on Feb. 15 with the return leg at the San Mames stadium a week later.

Club coach Jose Angel Ziganda admitted ahead of Friday’s league game at home to Las Palmas the team was going through a rough stretch.

“Results don’t help and we get the criticism,” he said in a news conference. “It’s not true that we don’t care, on the contrary. We know what people want and we are not achieving it. If we do things how we would like, the fans will be fair with us and will be as always behind us.”

The good news for Athletic is the return of goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, who has been sidelined with a right foot injury since Dec. 16. The Spain international was included in the squad for Friday’s game.

Kepa, who has made 14 league starts this season, was linked with Real Madrid in the winter transfer window before putting pen to paper on a new contract with Athletic.





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