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What happened to Liverpool fans in the Champions League final against Real Madrid

The game between Liverpool and Real Madrid had to be postponed by more than 30 minutes due to the problems outside the stadium grounds

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What happened?

However, chaotic scenes off the ground in the hours leading up to the game meant kick-off was delayed by more than 30 minutes as fans struggled to gain access to the stadium.

Riot police were present before the game, using tear gas while supporters were seen at the fence yelling at people to clarify the situation and let them in.

Liverpool fans stranded outside the stadium show their tickets during the UEFA Champions League final at the Stade de France, Paris (Photo: PA/Adam Davy)

The organizational chaos meant hundreds of fans missed kick-off as French police closed one of the main gates at the Liverpool end while huge queues formed outside, and then pepper-sprayed and tear-gassed fans, including children and the disabled, pressed at the fence stand and go nowhere.

Uefa initially said the delay was due to the “delayed arrival of fans” but Liverpool angrily denied these claims as “completely inaccurate”.

With long queues still forming outside and large patches of empty seats visible in the ground, the stadium announcer confirmed at 8.46pm local time – 14 minutes before kick-off – that the game had been rescheduled to 9.15pm.

Liverpool fans cheer next to empty seats for their team as they await the start of the UEFA Champions League final (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Two more delays meant the showpiece was finally able to get underway on location at 9.36pm, allowing the singer Camila cabello to perform their set as part of the opening ceremony in a stadium where a number of fans had not yet entered.

Some ticketless supporters were also seen scaling the perimeter fence or attempting to shoot past security.

Kelly Cates – the daughter of Liverpool great Sir Kenny Dalglish – tweeted ahead of the game: “Absolutely chaotic at the Stade de France.

“No way in, no way of knowing which way to go. Stay safe when you go inside. It can be very dangerous.”

What did Liverpool FC say?

A club spokesman said: “We are extremely disappointed by the stadium access issues and security perimeter collapse faced by Liverpool fans at the Stade de France tonight.

“This is the biggest game in European football and the fans shouldn’t have to live through the scenes we witnessed tonight.

“We have officially requested a formal investigation into the causes of these unacceptable issues.”

Police spray tear gas at Liverpool fans outside the stadium as they queue ahead of the UEFA Champions League final match between Liverpool FC and Real Madrid at Stade de France on May 28, 2022 in Paris, France (Photo by Matthias Hangst/ (Getty Images)

In a statement published on its official website, Liverpool FC said: “We are extremely disappointed by the stadium access issues and security perimeter collapse faced by Liverpool fans at the Stade de France tonight.

“This is the biggest game in European football and the fans shouldn’t have to live through the scenes we witnessed tonight.

“We have officially requested a formal investigation into the causes of these unacceptable issues.”

What did UEFA say?

On Saturday (28 May), UEFA also issued its own statement on what happened during the Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid.

It said: “In the run-up to the game, the turnstiles at the Liverpool end were blocked by thousands of fans who had bought fake tickets that didn’t work in the turnstiles.

Police and stewards are seen outside the stadium as Liverpool fans queue outside the stadium ahead of the UEFA Champions League final (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

“This led to a conglomeration of fans trying to get in. As a result, kick-off was delayed by 35 minutes to allow access for as many fans as possible with real tickets.

“When the number outside the stadium continued to increase after kick-off, the police dispersed them with tear gas and forced them out of the stadium.

“UEFA understands those affected by these events and will urgently investigate this matter further together with the French police and authorities, as well as the French Football Federation.”

What do the people who were there say?

Many Liverpool fans who were at the game shared their stories and experiences of what happened.

After the game, supporter Robbie, 24, said: “I was pepper sprayed, this is the first time this has happened to me.

“It wasn’t provoked, people just stood there and waved for the police to let us in, we had tickets.

“The police just sprayed us for no reason, even children and the elderly, it was bad.”

He said fans did not behave inappropriately at the time.

Liverpool fans stand outside and are unable to board in time, causing the game to be delayed (Photo by THOMAS COEX/AFP via Getty Images)

Some Liverpool fans quarreled with Real Madrid supporters and locals outside the stadium after the game.

Footage on social media appeared to show people scrambling over barriers as crowds built and kick-off was delayed by more than 30 minutes.

Shortly after 8 p.m., police had moved into the area with shields and riot gear.

Supporters appeared to show tickets to officers after a gate was closed and denied them entry.

Bottles were thrown at the officers, who responded with tear gas, causing some fans to lock their eyes.

The fans who were still waiting to be admitted were visibly frustrated.

Liverpool fans were unable to enter the Stade de France on May 28, 2022 in Paris, France (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

One fan, Carl Noades, 63, told the PA news agency: “There seems to be only one goal open, it’s ridiculous, the game has started and we’re stuck outside.

“It’s a shame, the way they treat us is shocking, there is no organization.”

Tensions outside the stadium were then fueled by young Parisians.

Liverpool supporters said hundreds of locals mocked riot police, prompting the gates to be closed.

One fan said: “This is pinned on us but it has nothing to do with us.

“There are hundreds here causing trouble, they’re not even for the game – it’s chaos.”

On the other side of the fence, supporters were arguing with ticket officials and behind the gates a number of people, some in Liverpool shirts, were taken away.

The match between Liverpool and Real Madrid had to be postponed due to the chaos (Photo by THOMAS COEX/AFP via Getty Images)

Other fans flocked to a nearby pub to watch the game.

Nick Smith, 42, told the PA: “I’ve had a ticket paid for through the nose, especially at the minute everyone’s struggling.

“But complete lack of organization means I’m in a pub and not where I’m supposed to be.”

Liverpool fans with tickets were later admitted into the stadium hours after the queue and well after the game had started.

Officers used tear gas, batons and shields to evict young locals from the outside area.

Numerous supporters with legitimate tickets were then allowed in.

A fan told PA: “I queued for four hours, my wife and I have tickets. Terrible.

“I’m devastated, Liverpool fans shouldn’t blame it.”

https://www.nationalworld.com/sport/football/liverpool-real-madrid-champions-league-final-what-happened-fans-french-stadium-uefa-3713132 What happened to Liverpool fans in the Champions League final against Real Madrid

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