West Ham has requested to play away in the first leg of the Europa League to allow for more time to get the Olympic Stadium ready.

The club learned that they would either be playing Shakhtyor Soligorsk of Belarus or NK Domzale of Slovenia in the third qualifying round of the competition.

The Europa tie on Thursday, July 28 would have been the first fixture at the team’s new home in Stratford.

But West Ham has asked if the first leg could be played away instead to allow stadium’s owner more time to get the ground ready following the London 2012 Anniversary Games, which take place on Friday, July 22 and Saturday, July 23.

This would mean that Slaven Bilic’s side would have their first home fixture on Thursday, August 4.

Both Shakhtyor and Domzale have agreed in principle to the switch and a final decision is expected to be ratified by UEFA in due course.

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West Ham then has a home friendly against Italian champions Juventus on Saturday, August 7 before the Premier League season commences against AFC Bournemouth on Sunday, August 21.

Club vice chairman Karen Brady told the West Ham website: “It’s fantastic to be kicking off this exciting new era for the club with European football in preparation for the all-important first Premier League fixture against Bournemouth.”

The Hammers will be competing in Europe for the eighth time in their history, having previously won the European Cup Winners’ Cup at the first attempt in 1965 and reached the final of the same competition in 1976.

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