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Monday, December 05, 2022

Beginning of Champions League final delayed over Paris crowd issues

SAINT-DENIS, France ( Associated Press) – The kickoff in the Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid was delayed by at least 30 minutes on Saturday, as crowds scrambled to safety and supporters struggled to climb fences.

There were sporadic instances of football fans, apparently without tickets, breaking security and attempting to get into the stadium. The Associated Press saw two fans – one wearing a Liverpool outfit – wrestled to the ground by the stewards and bundled out of the gate.

Another fan escaped from the steward and was seen running through the crowd and into the lower level of the stadium.

Supporter Colm Lacey saw “crying children, people trapped” outside the entrances.

“People started jumping in the queue, then they opened the gate and then there was a push,” Lacey said.

The scenes were reminiscent of the chaos outside Wembley Stadium ahead of the European Championship final between England and Italy last year.

There were still long lines of Liverpool fans outside the stadium when it was 40 minutes before kickoff.

About 15 minutes before the scheduled kickoff of 1900 GMT (9 p.m. local time), an announcement was made that the stadium would be delayed, accusing fans of being late. It was greeted by cheers inside the stadium, given that fans were already facing long queues.

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More Associated Press Soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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