The 2021-2022 UEFA Champions League final at Stade de France in Paris is still attracting attention for the wrong reasons two days after the prestigious football event ended in pain for most Liverpool fans. One of the biggest turndowns of this year’s edition of the tournament was the over 30 minutes delay in the kick-off of the Champions League final.
Initially, it was reported that the Champions League final which was won by Real Madrid after beating Liverpool 1-0, was delayed because the spectators who have bought tickets for the match arrived late.
Contrary to that claim, there are video clips shared on Twitter that showed thousands of Liverpool fans stranded outside the stadium hours before the first kick-off time of the final which was 20:00 UK time. Most of the Liverpool fans that were stranded outside were seen with the match tickets.
To make matters worst for the stranded fans, the police used pepper spray on them because some of the fans wanted to force their way into the stadium.
After the Champions League final, the European football governing body, UEFA said in a statement that the game was delayed because some fans came to the match venue with fake tickets.
UEFA, however, added that the football body has requested for an investigation to be carried out which was in line with a statement Liverpool released in reaction to the plight Liverpool fans faced before kick-off of the final.
When the football world was waiting for the outcome of UEFA’s investigation, French sports minister Roxana Maracineanu claimed that because Liverpool fans arrived at the stadium with invalid tickets, the security operatives found it difficult to control the crowd outside the stadium which led to the delay in the kick-off of the final.
She stressed that some of the Liverpool fans arrived at the stadium without tickets while some got to the Stade de France with fake tickets.
“What happened, first of all, was this mass gathering of the British supporters of the Liverpool club, without tickets, or with fake tickets,” the sports minister told French radio RTL on Monday.
“When there are that many people by the entrance to the stadium, there will be people trying to force their way in through the doors of the Stade de France, and a certain number of youths from the nearby area who were present tried to get in by mixing in with the crowd.”
Liverpool MP defends Liverpool fans
Contrary to the sports minister’s claims, UK’s Member of Parliament for Liverpool West Derby, Ian Byrne took to his verified Twitter page on the matchday to confirm that he attended the Champions League final in Paris.
The MP described the organization of the final as Shambolic and disgraceful, adding that what he experienced in Paris was “the worst experience” of his life.
“I’ve just endured one of the worst experiences in my life”, the MP tweeted. “Horrendous security and organization putting lives at risk @UEFAcom. Shambolic and I pray no fans have been injured because of the disgraceful lack of organization & expertise.”
I’ve just endured one of the worst experiences in my life.— lan Byrne MP (@IanByrneMP) May 28, 2022
Horrendous security and organisation putting lives at risk @UEFAcom.
Shambolic and I pray no fans have been injured because of the disgraceful lack of organisation & expertise.
After the French authorities blamed Liverpool fans for the chaos that happened in the Champions League final, the MP told Sky Sports that the minister of sports in France laid.
“We’re back in 1989 territory where the lies and smears about Hillsborough went out quickly and that narrative was set”, he said.
“When I got into the grounds I was appalled when I saw the signs saying it was due to the late arrival of fans.
“There were people who had been there three-and-a-half hours who were kettled in, getting pepper-sprayed, tear-gassed – this was a football occasion.
“We’ve all seen the footage, see the photographs, and I just thank God this time that the journalists were there, the British journalists have covered it wonderfully well.
“But Uefa and the French authorities need to hang their heads in shame about what happened on Saturday night.”