The European football governing body, UEFA, claimed that the 2022 UEFA Champions League final in Paris was delayed for over 30 minutes because thousands of fans came to the stadium with fake match tickets.
On Saturday, May 28, 2022, Spanish La Liga giants, Real Madrid, and English giants, Liverpool met at the Stade de France in Paris to play the 2021-2022 UEFA Champions League final. Ahead of the sold-out football event, it was reported that over 60,000 Liverpool fans traveled to Paris to watch the game.
Unfortunately, the Stade de France can accommodate only 80,698 people for a football game. Aside from that, UEFA reserved 20,000 seats each for Liverpool and Real Madrid fans. While other seats are for neutral spectators, UEFA officials, sponsors, and other VIPs.
This means that most of the Liverpool fans that traveled to France for the game were without an authentic match ticket or no ticket at all.
Hence, clips shared on social media showed thousands of Liverpool fans stranded outside the stadium ahead of the Champions League final.
It got so terrible that some of the fans tried to force their way into the stadium by jumping perimeters and attempting to use illegal entry points around the facility.
The situation frustrated the police that they had to use pepper spray to scare the fans away but most of the fans, especially the thousands of fans who were there with their match tickets, stood their ground.
Due to the disturbances outside, the UEFA Champions League final which was scheduled to kick off at 20:00 UK time ended up kicking off around 20:33.
After the Champions League final which Real Madrid won 1-0 thanks to a 59th-minute strike from Vinicius Junior, UEFA issued a statement to stress that the delay was caused by fans trying to gain access to the stadium with fake tickets.
A statement from UEFA read: “In the lead-up to the game, the turnstiles at the Liverpool end became blocked by thousands of 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.”
The Delay of the UEFA Champions League final should be investigated
Minutes after releasing the above statement, UEFA issued another statement to express its disappointment over how fans had to suffer in their attempt to watch the Champions League final in Paris.
Hence, the football body announced that the incident that forced thousands of fans to be stranded outside the stadium would be investigated.
“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 statement read. “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.”
On the other hand, the authorities handling the Stade de France claimed that the Champions League final was delayed because most of the spectators arrived late.
But the statement from the authorities proved to be false based on visuals from the stadium showing thousands of Liverpool fans patiently queuing outside the stadium over an hour before kick-off time (20:00 UK time).
The statement from UEFA further proved that the authorities handling the stadium have questions to answer on what actually transpired between them and Liverpool’s fans in particular.