Thursday, March 23, 2023

France blames ticket fraud for Champions League final mess

PARIS ( Associated Press) – French officials on Monday defended police for indiscriminately spraying tear gas and pepper spray on Liverpool supporters in the Champions League final, while blaming an industrial level of fraud that saw 30,000 to 40,000 people buy fake tickets. He tried to enter the Stade de France. Or not at all.

After a meeting in Saturday’s chaos, ministers for sport and the interior shifted the responsibility on Liverpool fans, while not ensuring that so many counterfeit tickets were in circulation. People with valid tickets through Liverpool and UEFA reported struggling to access the stadium.

“There was large-scale fraud on an industrial scale and an association of counterfeit tickets due to pre-filtering by the Stade de France and the French Football Federation, 70% of the tickets arriving at the Stade de France were counterfeit tickets,” Interior Minister Gerald Darmin said. “Fifteen percent of counterfeit tickets were also there after the first filtering … More than 2,600 tickets were confirmed by UEFA as non-valid tickets, even though they had previously gone through filtering.

“The massive presence of these counterfeit tickets was certainly the issue as to why there was a delay, with the start of the match being delayed three times.”

The final, in which Liverpool lost 1–0 to Real Madrid, started 37 minutes late. Tear gas and pepper spray were targeted at Liverpool fans, affecting the children – a tactic defended by Darmine to prevent the deaths.

“I would also like to thank the forces of law and order who worked in the stadium because they were so quiet and they were able to avoid the play and therefore thanks to organizing the pre-filtering, but also lifting it from the play. Too much pressure to survive,” Darmin said. “It was a decision made by the prefecture to avoid any kind of death or grievous injury.”

French Sports Minister Amelie Oueda-Castera blamed fans arriving late at the stadium for crowd control issues, but did not say when they should have arrived at the stadium on the outskirts of Paris.

“We have seen, we have to improve some aspects in risky matches with respect to flow management, filtering first, filtering second, and we have to make sure we look at electronic ticketing as closely as possible so that we can avoid fraud Ticketing is concerned,” Oueda-Castera said. “It’s something that is absolutely necessary.”

There was no apology for the conduct by the officers.

Oueda-Castera said, “We are extremely sorry for all those whose experience was ruined that evening.” “For those who bought tickets and were unable to attend the match. So we have asked UEFA to actually work out a compensation system for those people – 2,700, including the British ones – so that they can be compensated. meet.”


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