Sun, May 13, 2018 - Page 11 News List

Liverpool and Real fans in for Kiev hotel price shock

AFP, KIEV

Fancy shelling out 3,500 euros (US$4,186) for a night in a budget hotel?

Liverpool and Real Madrid fans who do not might end up sleeping rough for the night when they come to Kiev for the Champions League final.

The Ukrainian capital is the focus of fan fury after its hotels began charging 100 times their standard rates for the big match on May 26.

Some supporters lucky enough to book their beds before they turned into luxury items were aghast to discover their reservations annulled.

The Liverpool supporters’ club even posted a “rough” guide on Facebook that included overnight stays in the Polish city of Wroclaw.

The trek back out of Kiev was set for 3am.

UEFA issued a statement saying it might be wisest to just pop in and out of town on match day.

The rates some more modest places are charging sometimes look like a misprint.

A hotel called Harmony on Andriyivskiy Descent offers a room with a double bed and a miniature TV set balanced on a windowsill for 3,534 euros.

A person at reception asked reporters to write a formal letter to management when asked why the price had been revised up for that one day from 29 euros.

Fans who thought they were being clever by booking long in advance also had trouble getting answers after discovering they had no places to stay.

“Booked my hotel for Kiev months ago,” a Liverpudlian named Stephen wrote on Twitter. “Now @bookingcom decided that they are gonna cancel it for me free of charge so I can re-book it for 15 grand!”

A spokesperson for Booking.com said all of the site’s prices were set by the hotels and that it was ready to defend the interests of clients who had their reservations tossed out.

The Spanish sport daily Marca published accounts of similar horror stories befalling Real fans.

One received a message from his hotel asking him to cancel his reservation “because we will not have electricity and water for the dates indicated.”

Another place said “a virus attack” was responsible for a cheap room being offered when there was none.

Kiev authorities have responded by assigning the problem to the state anti-monopoly committee, which on Tuesday said that it had started “to monitor prices on the hotel services market.” It has not been heard from since.

All of which prompted kind Ukrainians to start a Facebook page offering free couches to desperate lovers of the beautiful game. It had nearly 5,000 members by yesterday and a big writeup in the Liverpool Echo.

Page creator Victor Kylymar told the paper that he was not really into soccer, but felt an “obligation” to help people out.

“This is a common event for all of Europe and to use this to make money is not the best idea,” Kylymar said.

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