PARIS (Associated Press) – Disturbing images of tear gas being used against football fans during the entry chaos at the Stade de France have had a lasting effect.
Le Figaro newspaper writes that a “disastrous picture of France” has been painted before the Champions League final against Real Madrid on Saturday. In an initial tally, the police recorded 238 wounded and 68 arrests. A number of photos and videos appeared on social media that showed at least a disproportionate use of security forces in the stadium.
UEFA explained the chaos due to the high number of fans without valid tickets. The European Football Association (UEFA) said late Saturday night that the turnstiles at the entrance to Liverpool were closed because thousands of fans who bought fake tickets were unable to pass. This caused traffic jams. The kick-off has been postponed to allow as many fans with tickets to enter.
Announcing the renewal
UEFA said police used tear gas. The Continental Confederation expressed its sympathy with those affected by the events and announced that it would work with the French police and the French Federation. According to the police, the injuries were “minor” and on-site care was provided.
The French sports newspaper L’Equipe witnessed a “complete failure”. It was an “incompetence on the part of the French regulators” which “could have had serious consequences if Liverpool fans had not been so patient”. The BBC reported that officers from the English Merseyside Police were at the scene and defended the fans. Emergency services confirmed that their behavior at the gates was “perfect under appalling conditions” and that they were “not 100 percent late”.
Liverpool FC demanded a quick fix. “We are very disappointed with the access problems to the stadium and the breakdown of the security perimeter that Liverpool fans have experienced at the Stade de France tonight,” the English club said during the match. “We demand an official investigation into the causes of these unacceptable problems,” he added. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said he knew that “some families have problems. We will have to wait for further investigation to find out what happened. Some things weren’t good and they weren’t nice. That’s all I don’t know yet.”
Kick-off after 36 minutes
First the kick-off was delayed by 15 minutes and then two more times, finally starting 36 minutes later than planned. The organizers initially mentioned safety reasons on the scoreboard, after which it was said that this was due to “delayed arrival of fans”.
“I’m not sure a worse event could be organized, even if I tried. Very messy and dangerous,” English football legend Gary Lineker tweeted to UEFA. He described the reason for the delay as the late arrival of the masses as “nonsense”.
Marvin Matip review
“The organization around and inside the stadium is not only unworthy of the Champions League final,” former professional footballer Marvin Matip, brother of Liverpool’s Joel Matip, told Sky. “The use of tear gas in places where there are children and spectators fans is dangerous for the public.”
Paris police tweeted in French, English and Spanish in the evening, saying that fans should not try to force access. “Thousands of British ‘fans’ made their way without tickets or fake tickets, in some cases attacking law enforcement,” Home Secretary Gerald Darmanin wrote on Twitter.
Not many Liverpool fans were in the stands when the match was originally scheduled to kick off at 9pm, but there were still a few gaps when the game started more than half an hour later. On the other hand, the Real Madrid fan zones were well packed early on.
The teams walked out of the locker room shortly after 9:00 and warmed up again. The opening ceremony began at 9:23 p.m., accompanied by a loud whistling ceremony from the crowd. Real Madrid won the final 1-0. The final was moved from St. Petersburg to France due to Russia’s aggressive war against Ukraine.
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