UEFA launch investigation as French chiefs blame ‘massive ticket fraud’ for Champions League final fiasco, which saw Liverpool fans tear-gassed by police before and after match May 31, 2022 – Posted in: Soccer
French interior minister Gerald Darmanin has continued to blame fans with fake tickets for the problems ahead of the Champions League final, labelling it as ‘massive fraud’.
And UEFA has confirmed an independent and comprehensive review will be conducted into what occurred before the game in Paris.
The French authorities have come under intense pressure for their handling of Liverpool fans on Saturday, but they claimed that ’70 per cent’ of tickets were fakes, which caused the issue.
Darmanin said: “There was massive fraud at an industrial level and organisation of fake tickets, 70 percent of tickets were fake tickets coming into the Stade de France.
“More than 2,600 were confirmed by UEFA as non-validated tickets even though they had gone through the first filtering.
“The massive presence of the fake tickets was the issues which meant there were delays, three times the match was delayed.
“We had a long meeting where we had exactly the same interpretation with what happened.
“I would like to express our regret with regard to the organisation of the final because some people were not able to see the whole of the match. I deplore the errors which took place before.”
He tweeted, adding: “The worst was avoided thanks to the police and stewards: they undoubtedly made it possible to avoid a tragedy.”
Meanwhile, a UEFA statement read: “UEFA has today announced it has commissioned an independent report into the events surrounding the UEFA Champions League final in Paris on Saturday, May 28.
“The comprehensive review will examine decision-making, responsibility and behaviours of all entities involved in the final.”
The review will be carried out by Dr Tiago Brandao Rodrigues, a member of the Portuguese parliament and former member of the World Anti-Doping Agency Foundation Board.
The statement added: “Evidence will be gathered from all relevant parties and the findings of the independent report will be made public once completed and, upon receipt of the findings, UEFA will evaluate the next steps.”
Representatives from local authorities, police and final organisers were meeting to review events outside the stadium during which Liverpool fans queueing for admission were tear-gassed.
Liverpool have released a statement condemning the scenes before the showpiece event, whilst British MPs have called for an investigation amid condemnation of the way the Premier League club’s supporters were treated.
Ian Byrne, the Labour MP for Liverpool West Derby, attended the match in Paris and said he had never witnessed such scenes since the 1989 Hillsborough disaster.
He has written to Foreign Secretary Liz Truss with a list of seven demands, including a formal probe and apologies, aimed at UEFA and the French authorities.
In his letter, he said: “The French authorities and UEFA are quite simply covering their own backs with this narrative.
“As a Liverpool fan, I was in Paris for the match and I can honestly say that the situation outside the ground was one of the most horrendous experiences of my life – and as a Hillsborough survivor, I do not make this comment lightly.”
Merseyside Police observers described the behaviour of the vast majority of supporters as “exemplary”, while their counterparts from the Paris prefecture said some had “employed strong force” in a bid to get into the stadium.
Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said: “I urge UEFA to launch a formal investigation into what went wrong and why, in co-ordination with stadium staff, the French police, the French football federation, Merseyside Police and Liverpool Football Club.
“It is in the interests of everyone involved to understand what happened and to learn lessons from these events.”
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