'Disgraceful scenes' - Champions League final delayed due to security reasons at Stade de France

·3 min read
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Initially scheduled to kick-off at 20:00 BST, the Champions League final faced two delays on Saturday night as reports poured in of fan trouble outside the Stade de France. Both sets of players took to the pitch for their usual pre-match training routines, but as the cameras panned around France's national stadium, it was clear that Liverpool's seating allocation was far from filled. An announcement around the stadium followed, stating that a 15 minute delay was in place due to "the late arrival of fans at the stadium". However, UEFA since stated that the delay was due to "security reasons", with reports of tear gas being used outside the venue.

Footage also showed lengthy queues around the 80,698 capacity stadium 15 minutes after the initial kick-off time, with UEFA forced to add another 15 mintues to the delay. Eventually, the game kicked off at 20:35 BST, but Twitter was quick to react to the chaos in Paris.

Kelly Cates - the daughter of Liverpool legend Sir Kenny Dalglish - posted: "Absolutely shambolic at the Stade de France. "No way in, no way of knowing which way to go. Stay safe if you're heading in. It has the potential to be very dangerous." Fans were also seen scaling the perimeter fence of the stadium in the lead up to the showpiece, with many ticketless fans attempting to gain entry. On top of that, Gate Y of the Stade de France - an entrance many Liverpool fans were told to take - was locked and out of use, causing further delays.

UEFA blame 'fake tickets' for delays

After the Champions League final concluded, UEFA released a statement on the delays to the game, stating that a number of 'fake tickets' caused problems for fans entering the venue. "In the lead-up to the game, the turnstiles at the Liverpool end became blocked by thousands 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."

Liverpool demand investigation into fan delays

With the delays an immediate result of Liverpool fans being unable to enter the stadium, the club have followed up the incident by requesting a formal investigation from UEFA. Fans were pictured being tear gassed by French police amid the chaos, with reports of others jumping the perimeter fence ahead of kick-off. A Liverpool spokesperson said: "We are hugely disappointed at the stadium entry issues and breakdown of the security perimeter that Liverpool fans faced this evening at the Stade de France. "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."

The article 'Disgraceful scenes' - Champions League final delayed due to security reasons at Stade de France appeared first on Planetsport.com.

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