Blame game in France after Champions League fans alteraction

UEFA Champions League 2022 final between Liverpool and Real Madrid kicked off with a 35-minute delay after police tried to hold back people attempting to force their way into the Stade de France without tickets, while some ticket holders complained they were not let in

UEFA Champions League 2022 final between Liverpool and Real Madrid kicked off with a 35-minute delay after police tried to hold back people attempting to force their way into the Stade de France without tickets, while some ticket holders complained they were not let in

Chaotic scenes at the French national stadium before and during Saturday night’s Champions League final were branded a national embarrassment, while French ministers blamed Liverpool fans for the trouble.

The final between Liverpool and Real Madrid kicked off with a 35-minute delay after police tried to hold back people attempting to force their way into the Stade de France without tickets, while some ticket holders complained they were not let in.

Television footage showed images of young men, who did not appear to be wearing the red Liverpool jerseys, jumping the gates of the stadium and running away. Other people outside, including children, were tear-gassed by riot police, a Reuters witness said.

Some riot police officers stormed into the stadium while others charged at people trying to knock down stadium gates.

European soccer’s governing body UEFA blamed fake tickets for causing the issue and said it would review the events together with the French authorities and the French Football Federation, in a statement welcomed by the British ambassador in Paris, Menna Rawlings.

“We need to establish the facts,” Rawlings tweeted, adding her “commiserations” to Liverpool after a “valiant performance” in their 1-0 defeat by Real.

France’s Interior and Sports ministers squarely put the blame on “British” supporters.

“Thousands of British ‘supporters’, without any ticket or with fake ones have forced their way in and, at times, used violence again stadium staff,” Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said on Twitter, thanking French police.

“The attempts at intrusion and fraud by thousands of English supporters complicated the work of the stadium staff and police but will not tarnish this victory,” Sports minister Amelie Oudea-Castera tweeted.

Some 68 people had been arrested by 1.20 local time on Sunday while there were 238 interventions by medics for people who were very lightly injured, Paris police said in a statement.

UEFA issued a statement late on Saturday saying: “In the lead-up to the game, the turnstiles at the Liverpool end became blocked by thousands of fans who had purchased fake tickets which did not work in the turnstiles.”

Liverpool Football Club also issued a statement, saying: “We are hugely disappointed at the stadium entry issues and breakdown of the security perimeter that Liverpool fans faced.

“We have officially requested a formal investigation into the causes of these unacceptable issues.”

The scenes at the stadium caused outrage in France, with politicians of all sides calling it a national disgrace.

“This a shame for France!”, Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, a hard-right former presidential candidate, said on Twitter.

Even some in French President Emmanuel Macron’s camp lamented the events, which occurred two years before Paris hosts the Olympic Games.

“Scuffles at the Stade de France, brawls in bars, green spaces turned into trash. One observation: we are not ready for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games,” Nathalie Loiseau, a European lawmaker in Macron’s party said on Twitter. 

Liverpool’s Andy Robertson slams organisers for Champions League final chaos

Liverpool left-back Andy Robertson labelled the organisation of Saturday’s Champions League final against Real Madrid a “shambles” after kick-off was delayed for 35 minutes due to fans trying to force their way into the Stade de France in Paris.

Riot police fired teargas at fans as chaos ensued near the Liverpool end of the ground, which governing body UEFA said was caused by fake tickets that did not work in the turnstiles.

Robertson said a friend was denied entry to the game, which Real won 1-0 to claim a record-extending 14th European Cup.

“One of my mates got told it was a fake, which I assure you it wasn’t. It was a shambles really,” the 28-year-old told the BBC. “To be honest, people were just making it up at times and panicking. Teargas getting thrown at people was unacceptable.”

Liverpool have demanded an official investigation into the incident and said they were hugely disappointed at the entry issues faced by their supporters.

“It was horrendous for our fans and all families that have been through it as well. It wasn’t a nice experience, not a nice final to come to. The Champions League should be a celebration but it wasn’t that,” Robertson said.

The final was moved from St Petersburg to Paris by UEFA following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow calls a “special military operation”.

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said the families of some players struggled to get into the stadium.

“What I heard is that we will have further investigations to figure out what was going on there. I heard a few things that were not good, not nice,” the German said.

“Obviously it was pretty tricky out there, but I don’t know more about it.”

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