UEFA have blamed the chaotic scenes outside the Stade de France ahead of the Champions League final on Liverpool supporters with ‘fake tickets’.
The showpiece event in Paris was delayed by 36 minutes as thousands of fans were unable to gain access to the stadium – despite arriving for the game hours in advance.
Police fired pepper spray and tear gas into large pockets of supporters, causing unnecessary distress and harm on an occasion that was meant to be the greatest day of many people’s footballing lives.
But rather than take any blame for the clear organisational deficiencies, UEFA have deflected the blame onto Liverpool’s fans in a statement that suggested thousands of fake tickets were the sole cause of the problems – and nothing else.
“In the lead-up to the game, the turnstiles at the Liverpool end became blocked by thousands fans who had purchased fake tickets which did not work in the turnstiles,” UEFA’s statement began.
“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 kick-off, the police dispersed them with tear gas and forced them away from the stadium.
“Uefa is sympathetic to those affected by these events and will further review these matters urgently together with the French police and authorities, and with the French Football Federation.”
Liverpool released a statement of their own during the game, which they lost 1-0 after Vinicius Junior’s second half goal, calling for an immediate investigation into what happened.
“We are hugely disappointed at the stadium entry issues and break down of the security perimeter that Liverpool fans faced this evening at the Stade de France.
“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.”