French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin on Monday blamed the sale of fake tickets for the Champions League final at the Stade de France. According to him, between 30,000 and 40,000 English fans had no tickets or had fake tickets. “What was found was a massive and organized fraud of fake tickets: 70% of the fake tickets were found on the first fence and 15% on the second,” he said.
UEFA confirmed that a large number of fans with fake tickets would cause delays and blockages in the stadium’s access caps.
Darmanin also stated that on Saturday, at 21:00, 97% of the Spanish fans, with the entrance, were inside the field, against 50% of the English fans.
The remarks were made in a joint press conference with French Sports Minister Amélie Oudéa-Castéra on Monday morning following a meeting with police, local authorities and UEFA representatives.
The final between Real Madrid and Liverpool began 30 minutes late on Saturday, ending in a 1-0 victory for the Spanish national team due to problems with fans entering the stadium. The incident did not cause any serious injuries, but there was a lot of commotion.
From the beginning, France was responsible for the problems that Liverpool fans had. But the British government disagreed with Paris’ thesis, saying it was “very disappointed” with the treatment of the Reds. “Fans deserve to know what happened,” UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman said on Monday. He also called on UEFA to “work with the French authorities on a full investigation”.
The French sports minister said it was necessary to look into the problem in order to “learn lessons, conclusions and lessons together”. He called on UEFA to “compensate 2,700 people who had tickets and could not watch the match”. UEFA has not commented on the matter.
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Violence and robbery against fans
With the Paris suburban train strike, the main public transport to reach the Stade de France, fans had to take another line, the exit of which led to a narrow passage. In this place, they did the first card check. But it wasn’t until the news that fans arrived that the QR code didn’t work and the tickets were fake.
According to those present at the stadium, the number of staff to control the tickets was not enough.
Daniel Austin, an English writer and sports journalist who lives in France and works for Liverpool, said in an interview with France Info that the French government is “lying”. “Thirty thousand people without a ticket is impossible, it makes me very angry,” he says.
“What I see is a state that has lost control of the situation he uses many foreigners to save his reputation, to protect himself. Blame it on the British, no investigation. That’s what the French ministers and UEFA decided, “he said.
“The police and the French state almost killed me. It was the first time in my life that I was afraid to die. The police closed the doors two hours before the game. We had to wait three hours without going to the place. The bathroom, no drinking water, pressed together. It is the fault of the French state, “he said. Not English, ”the journalist warned.
Jean Cristophe Couvy, the national secretary of the police union, also told France Info that he was shocked to see images of the invasion of the Stade de France. “Rio de Janeiro in the middle of the favelas”.
But he stressed that English fans are known for causing riots, citing the 2021 Euro Cup final between England and Italy at Wembley, when 2,000 fans stormed the stadium.
But it was not only the English fans who criticized the organization of the event. On social media, many French people reported thefts, access difficulties and lack of security in the stadium.
“I arrived at #stadedefrance at 6.45pm. I arrived at my seat at 9.45pm. After squeezing, gassing, stealing my phone and seeing several attacks.” Others highlighted the presence of unidentified local youth groups who tried to enter the stadium without entry.
Videos circulating on social media show that people are proud to have been able to enter the stadium without tickets. Other footage shows robberies and police using pepper spray on fans.
Among the videos circulating on social media, the most controversial is also the most controversial Cyril Hanouna, the presenter of the most watched program among young people in France. In the pictures, the stadium lathe passes under it.
Among those arrested by police on Saturday night, 15 remain in pretrial detention, all French.