Why the story of Arsenal & Chelsea fans fighting in Baku is very fishy

‘Arsenal & Chelsea fans hurt’

In the build-up to the Europa League final on Wednesday night in Baku, Azerbaijan, reports came out about violence between some Arsenal and Chelsea fans.

Even the likes of Sky Sports were reporting it.

According to the broadcaster, ‘two fans have been injured in confrontations ahead of the Europa League final between Arsenal and Chelsea’.

Where did the story come from?

Sky Sports never revealed where they got their information from.

However, the likes of the Irish Independent, who also filed a similar report, pointed to Azerbaijani news site Azeri Daily.com.

Azeri Daily included the following information on their website about the fight between Arsenal and Chelsea fans:

The last night saw a fight between the British fans of Chelsea and Arsenal in the centre of Baku in the Molokan garden, reports our own correspondent.

According to the information, Chelsea fan Anderson Chels suffered as a result of the fight, and was hospitalised. The head of the press-service of the Ministry of Health, Parviz Abubakirov, confirmed the fact for Azeri Daily, saying that an ambulance team has taken the injured Briton to the Clinical Medical Centre. He had an open lacerated head wound.

Also during the conflict at the pub, Zaur Mammadov, a 41-year-old Russian citizen who came to watch football, suffered a face wound.

Picture evidence seems fake news

Luke Brown, a reporter for the Independent, has dug into the Azeri Daily report a bit more.

Perhaps the most compelling piece of evidence suggesting that a fight happened put forth by Azeri Daily is an image of a punch-up at the top of the page.

Azeri Daily fail to provide any information about this image.

The assumption is that this image is evidence of the Arsenal and Chelsea fans brawling.

But the picture isn’t from Baku. It’s from Marseille in 2016.

For what it’s worth, we’ve also failed to uncover any other evidence suggesting that any Arsenal or Chelsea fans have been injured in Baku.

So did the fight actually happen?

Cynics may argue that Azerbaijanis could be trying to flag up problems with British fans as a way to deflect attention away from criticisms surrounding the event being held in their country.

Also see: Chelsea predicted line-up vs Arsenal: N’Golo Kante out, Marcos Alonso in.

Chelsea vs Arsenal live streaming: Watch Europa League final online, preview, prediction & odds.