Following the horrific scenes outside the Stade de France before and during the Champions League final, UEFA have blamed fans holding “fake tickets.”
The final between Liverpool and Real Madrid on Saturday night, which ended in a 1-0 win for the Spanish side, was delayed by 36 minutes due to trouble outside the stadium.
Thousands of Reds supporters were kept out by locked turnstiles and fences, with tensions flaring and riot police deploying tear gas on ticket-holding fans.
When the game kicked off, over half an hour late, a large number of Liverpool fans were still not in the stadium, and those who eventually made their way in were left scarred by the scenes outside.
Upon their announcement that kickoff would be delayed, UEFA blamed it on “late arrivals,” which they doubled down on in a statement after the game, adding the excuse of “fake tickets.”
A statement on the issues surrounding the delay to tonight's #UCLfinal kick-off.
— UEFA (@UEFA) May 28, 2022
“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,” the statement reads.
“This created a build-up of fans trying to get in. As a result, the kick-off was delayed by 35 minutes to allow as many fans as possible with genuine tickets to gain access.
“As numbers outside the stadium continued to build up after kickoff, the police dispersed them with tear gas and forced them away from the stadium.”
There is little to no explanation as to why fans holding genuine tickets were targeted by police – with many reporting incidents of physical violence – rather an attempt to cover their backs.
In a separate statement released prior to that of UEFA, Liverpool demanded an investigation into the situation, describing the issues as “unacceptable.”
“We are hugely disappointed at the stadium entry issues and breakdown of the security perimeter that Liverpool fans faced this evening at Stade de France,” the LFC statement reads.
“This is the greatest match in European football and supporters should not have to experience the scenes we have witnessed tonight.
“We have officially requested a formal investigation into the causes of these unacceptable issues.”