UEFA and the French Football Federation estimate that 2,800 “fake tickets” were scanned in the Champions League final, a source said on Tuesday. The two bodies gave the estimate during a crisis meeting at the French sports ministry on Monday, the source said.
The meeting was called to examine what was behind the chaotic scenes that marred Saturday’s Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid at the Stade de France in Paris, with the Spanish side winning 1-0.
The French government, which faced a barrage of criticism over the match’s policing that saw thousands of Liverpool fans with tickets struggling to enter the Stade de France, blamed ‘massive’ fraud on tickets for disturbances.
French security services had warned the authorities of the risk that 50,000 supporters would be without tickets or with fake tickets two days before the final, according to a document seen by AFP on Tuesday.
A note from the National Division for the Fight against Hooliganism (DNLH) on May 25 – written with intelligence input and seen by AFP – warned of “around 50,000 English supporters in the French capital who ‘will have no tickets’.
“Some of them will have fake tickets and try to use them to gain access to the stadium,” said the note from the DNLH, a branch of the police, although it did not estimate the number.
“Others will attempt to enter the arena through deception, for example by using the uniforms of stewards, UEFA, cleaning or medical staff,” adds the note which was widely distributed to the forces of the army. ‘order.
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After the crisis meeting at the Sports Ministry on Monday, French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said the root cause of the problems was “massive, industrial-scale and organized fraud with counterfeit tickets”.
Darmanin added that there had been 30,000 to 40,000 Liverpool supporters with fake or no tickets outside the Stade de France.
Earlier on Monday, Sports Minister Amelie Oudea-Castera slammed Liverpool for letting their supporters “go free”, prompting the chairman of Liverpool Football Club to write an angry letter demanding an apology for the “irresponsible” comments. , unprofessional and totally disrespectful”.
Some 22,000 tickets have been officially allocated to Real Madrid and Liverpool supporters. A criminal investigation into counterfeit banknotes has been opened in France.
The note also warned that “several hundred English supporters will try to enter the stadium by forcing the turnstiles and the various access doors” and called for “the greatest vigilance” at the various checkpoints.
“While this event does not present any particular risks in connection with violent supporters, public order disturbances are to be feared, in particular due to the very large influx of supporters from all over Europe”, indicates the note. .
Saturday’s scenes have tarnished the image of the French capital, raising questions about its ability to host major sporting events as it prepares for the 2024 Olympics, as well as the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
UEFA, European football’s governing body, announced on Monday that it was opening an “independent report” into the issues of the final which would “examine the decision-making, accountability and behaviors of all entities involved”.
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