June 1 – In a shift from blaming late fan arrivals to fake tickets, the French FA (FFF) has said that 35,000 supporters coming to the Stade de France for Saturday’s chaotic Champions League final in Paris had no tickets or counterfeit tickets, echoing what French authorities claimed on Monday, but with a slightly different number.
French Interior minister Gérald Darmanin said “70% of tickets were fake tickets coming into the Stade de France”, with up to 40,000 fake tickets in circulation, but in a statement, the FFF insisted that 35,000 people without tickets or with false tickets went to the Stade de France for the Champions League final.
The French ruling body claimed that 1,650 security guards at the Stade de France – 25% more than for a sold-out France match – were deployed “in anticipation of a possible presence of people without tickets or in possession of counterfeit tickets.” The FFF also said that 110,000 people made their way to the Stade de France, a number the federation “based on information collected from various public and private operators”.
“79,200 people took public transport, 21,000 the bus (fans, partners and UEFA invitees), 6,000 in taxis and with private drivers, and 4,100 in their own private vehicles,” said the FFF.
The FFF concluded that around the stadium there were “35,000 extra people in possession of counterfeit tickets or without tickets” and they “caused public disorder by blocking the gates to the stadium and preventing some holders of real tickets from entering before the kick-off of the match scheduled for 9.00 pm.”
On Monday, Darmanin had pinned the blame on the Merseyside fanbase when he claimed there had been 30,000 to 40,000 Liverpool fans with counterfeit tickets or without the Stade de France. Liverpool fans but media reports have however fiercely contested those numbers, with the club already receiving 5,000 accounts of fans detailing the chaos in and around the stadium as well as the aggressive behaviour of the French police.
Darmanin did not reference the violence suffered by Liverpool fans both before and after the game, and the failure of police to stop numerous reports of gangs attacking and mugging Liverpool fans after the game as they tried to return to the centre of Paris.
Nor was there any explanation as to why more than 2,700 fans with legitimate tickets were denied entry to the ground and are now being refunded by the club.
On Wednesday, minister of the interior Gérald Darmanin and sports minister Amélie Oudéa-Castéa will be called before the French senate to address the chaos at the Stade de France.
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