The Champions League Final between Liverpool and Real Madrid in the Stade de France, Paris was delayed by 30 minutes for “security reasons” UEFA said Saturday.
Inside the stadium, UEFA posted a statement inside the stadium saying kickoff had been delayed due to the “late arrival” of fans but a host of reports from journalists and fans on the ground suggested otherwise as chaos reigned.
Television footage showed many empty seats in the Liverpool end as thousands of fans were still outside with 30 minutes to go before the original kickoff time. Social media coverage was full of reports from Liverpool fans saying they had been queueing for hours but still couldn’t gain entry. There were also multiple reports of tear gas being used.
Both teams returned to the pitch for a second warmup owing to the delays. When the game did kickoff, many fans were still outside and reports of further tear gas use continued.
DW’s Matt Pearson was on the ground in Paris and reported the following:
“It’s chaos. It was when I went in at 6 and is now. I’ve just been outside and there’s tear gas in the air, fans trying to get in and police charging gates. There are still hundreds, even thousands of fans outside. Anyone at this point should have had a ticket check.”
This comes just a week after chaotic scenes ahead of the Europa League Final in Sevilla.
Later, Liverpool released a statement saying they were requesting a formal investigation into “unacceptable issues.”
UEFA said that “turnstiles at the Liverpool end became blocked by thousands of fans who had purchased fake tickets which did not work”, before adding it was “sympathetic” to those affectd and that a review would be undertaken.
After the game, Parisian police released a statement saying “a large number of supporters without match tickets or holding false tickets disrupted access to the Stade de France at the external security perimeter. These fans exerted strong pressure to enter the stadium and delayed the access of ticketed spectactors. Taking advantage of this action, a number of people managed to get through the gates protecting the stadium.”