UEFA has blamed “thousands of fans with fake tickets” for causing delays outside the Stade de France ahead of the Champions League final as the showpiece event was marred by disturbing scenes ahead of the game.
Sky Sports News’ chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol was among those who were targeted with tear gas as chaos continued before the final, which eventually kicked off almost 40 minutes late.
Citing ‘unacceptable issues’ for supporters, Liverpool had called for a formal investigation to probe what occurred outside the stadium before UEFA released its statement.
“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 club said. “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.”
The statement issued by UEFA shortly before the end of the game – in which Real Madrid beat Liverpool 1-0 – said: “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.
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.”
Stadium authorities initially blamed a delayed kick-off on the “late arrival” of fans for the showpiece event.
That version of events was fiercely disputed by those in attendance in Paris, including Sky Sports journalists and reporters inside the stadium.
“It seems to me that the whole policing operation before this game was ineffective,” Solhekol concluded. “It was not done properly.”