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Europa League round of 16 draw

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By ESPN Staff

League officials solve Arsenal-Spurs ticket row

Football League officials have resolved the ticketing row over the Carling Cup semi-final after safety concerns limited the number of tickets allocated to Tottenham by Arsenal.

The north London rivals will meet on January 24 at White Hart Lane, with the visitors receiving an allocation of 8.5% of the capacity, rather than the 15% stated in the competition rules.

Safety concerns meant Spurs could only offer a maximum of 12.2%, but Arsenal could not match that figure and offered around 5,000 tickets.

A Football League spokesman said: 'The issue was discussed by the League board with the issue of parity of ticket allocation being of paramount importance.

'The aim was to get the clubs as close the 15% threshold as possible. Arsenal were asked to raise the number of tickets they were making available but could not do so for safety reasons. Therefore an agreement had been reached between the clubs of 8.5%.'

Despite Arsenal only moving to the Emirates Stadium in the summer, they received advice against raising the number of away tickets for the semi-final.

A statement from Arsenal confirmed: 'To date, we have not hosted a cup match at Emirates Stadium and were therefore advised by the Football Licensing Authority and Islington Council, as well as supported by the Met Police, that it was unsafe to make the increase from 3,000 to 9,000 away supporters in one single step.'

The Football League have ordered both allocations to be equal, with Arsenal receiving 3,000 for next week's clash and Spurs getting 5,173 for the return leg.

The statement from Arsenal added: 'On the upside, as a result of accommodating more than 5,000 away supporters for the first time at Emirates Stadium on January 31, we will be in a position to review the opposition's allocation with the necessary parties for future cup ties.

'This will hopefully enable the club to provide visiting teams with the maximum 15% allocation for the FA Cup and Carling Cup competitions.'

Spurs officials were pleased with the Football League's decision, and a statement from the club read: 'The Football League today accepted our position on the issue of away ticketing allocations and ruled that there should be parity in percentage of allocation.'