Paris – A crowd clash that caused a 35-minute delay in the start of Saturday’s Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool was caused by people trying to use “fake tickets” to enter the match, the tournament organizer said.
Problems with fan control and access Thousands of fans, many of them Liverpool supporters, with current tickets blocked in their team’s biggest game of the season. Confusion and growing outrage created a potentially dangerous situation when French police officers, with helmets and shields, used cassettes, which UEFA, which rules the Champions League, used tear gas to avoid crowded crowds.
“Before the game, the turnstiles at the bottom of Liverpool were blocked by thousands of fans who bought fake tickets that did not work in the turnstiles,” UEFA said. His statement. “This created an accumulation of fans trying to enter. As a result, the match was postponed for 35 minutes to allow as many fans as possible to enter with real tickets.”
The statement said: “As the numbers outside the stadium increased after the start of the match, the police dispersed them with tear gas and forced them out of the stadium.”
In the chaos, fans asked the stadium’s stewards to let in, tickets were stuck in the iron gates, many coughing and gasping for breath on the sidewalks outside the Stade de France, a modern arena built for the 1998 World Cup.
Other fans were looking for alternative routes, climbing fences and locking gates. One group of VIPs, who had been delayed due to a problem scanning the QR codes attached to the tickets, climbed the fence to get to the seats. After one of the officials said that they were watching how the police were fighting with the spectator who was still outside.
Inside the stadium, where the teams finished warming up, two 15-minute delays were announced. But even before the crowds outside dispersed, UEFA launched an inappropriate, sophisticated pre-game ceremony featuring singer Camilla Cabello. As soon as it was over, the teams went out on the field and shook hands and the final began.
Police officers stationed at the entrance to the stadium blamed chaos on locals in the Saint-Denis suburb of Paris, where the stadium is located, and said that the fans were not wearing the colors of rival teams, but them. Dressed as they were described as “civilian clothes” who tried to enter the stadium without tickets.
But French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin repeated the UEFA version of events In a Twitter post. “Thousands of British ‘supporters’ were forced to enter without tickets or with fake tickets, and sometimes attacked stewards,” he wrote. “Thanks to a lot of police who are mobilized this evening in this difficult context.
Fans blamed the lack of organization and said that several entrance gates were closed, forcing attendees to the game to move into long queues. Crush the bodies As soon as the start time approached.
UEFA officials initially seemed to blame the “late-night fans” for the problems, even though huge crowds were stuck at the gate hours before the scheduled start.
Tommy Smith, a Liverpool fan who traveled from Ireland to Paris with a group of friends and family, said his group arrived two hours before the scheduled start and found that there were several entrances where fans could submit their tickets. “They have closed all Liverpool-related turnovers,” Smith said. “The fans waited for two hours, in order, nothing came of it and we burst into tears.” He said there was little information or reference from the stadium staff.
Liverpool issued a statement during the game stating that the club was “extremely frustrated with the problems of entering the stadium and the breach of the security perimeter that Liverpool fans faced”. The team said it had requested a formal investigation into the events.
Ronan Evan, CEO of Football Supporters Europe, an umbrella group for fans, told The New York Times that the fans were impeccable.
“Fans in the Champions League final do not have to take responsibility for tonight’s fiasco,” he said. “They are victims here.”
A UEFA security spokesman said the Stade de France was locked in the middle, all entrances and exits were closed, while police used tear gas outside the stadium squares.
“Right now it’s safer for you inside than outside,” a UEFA spokesman told the Australian executive, who was looking to leave the stadium during the half. A security spokesman said it was “a police decision” to close the entrances and exits.
In a post-match statement, UEFA said it would investigate the causes of the fan’s problems, which occurred almost a year after a large crowd of ticketless fans attended the European Championships at Wembley Stadium in London, and the stewards relocated to the final. That tournament. The tournament was also a UEFA event.
“UEFA extends its condolences to those affected by the incident,” the organization said in a statement, “and will continue to discuss these issues with the French police and authorities and the French Football Federation.”