French minister says 70% of Champions League final tickets were fake

·Breaking News Editor, Yahoo News UK
·3 min read
Soccer Football - Champions League Final - Liverpool v Real Madrid - Stade de France, Saint-Denis near Paris, France - May 28, 2022  Fans and police officers at the turnstiles inside the stadium as the match is delayed REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
Fans and police officers at the turnstiles inside the stadium as the Champions League final was delayed. (Reuters)

A senior French politician has claimed that 70% of tickets at the Champions League final in France were fake, as authorities come under increasing scrutiny over how they handled the chaos.

Liverpool fans - including children and disabled supporters - were teargassed outside the Stade de France on Saturday as they queued to watch their team play.

French interior minister Gerald Darmanin insisted there was “industrial level” fraud as he blamed fans with fake tickets for the problems ahead of the final between Liverpool FC and Real Madrid.

It comes after France's sports minister claimed “between 30,000 and 40,000” Liverpool fans showed up without valid tickets.

Watch: French minster blames "fraud on industrial level" over Champions League final

Amélie Oudéa-Castéra said:“The fact that the Real Madrid club has supervised the coming of its supporters to Paris to such an extent, by scheduling buses from the airport and organising everything from start to finish — which contrasted sharply with what the Liverpool club did, letting its supporters out in the wild — made a huge difference."

The French authorities are coming under increasing pressure for their handling of Liverpool supporters on Saturday but claim the influx of fans with fake tickets was the biggest issue.

“There was massive fraud at an industrial level and organisation of fake tickets, 70 per cent of tickets were fake tickets coming into the Stade de France,” Darmanin told a press conference.

“More than 2,600 were confirmed by UEFA as non-validated tickets even though they had gone through the first filtering.

“The massive presence of the fake tickets was the issue, which meant there were delays – three times the match was delayed.”

The chaotic scenes which marred the match at the Stade de France came under the spotlight at a meeting in Paris on Monday.

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin attends a press conference following a meeting on security after incidents during the Champions League final at the Stade France stadium, Monday, May 30, 2022 in Paris. The British government says it's deeply concerned over the treatment of Liverpool supporters by French authorities, who blamed fans for unrest at the Champions League final amid overcrowding outside the Stade de France. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias)
French interior minister Gerald Darmanin insisted there was “industrial level” fraud as he blamed fans with fake tickets for the problems. (AP)
Soccer Football - Champions League Final - Liverpool v Real Madrid - Stade de France, Saint-Denis near Paris, France - May 28, 2022 Liverpool fans react as they queue to access Stade de France before Champions League Final   REUTERS/Fernando Kallas
Soccer Football - Champions League Final - Liverpool v Real Madrid - Stade de France, Saint-Denis near Paris, France - May 28, 2022 Liverpool fans react as they queue to access Stade de France before Champions League Final REUTERS/Fernando Kallas
Soccer Football - Champions League Final - Liverpool v Real Madrid - Stade de France, Saint-Denis near Paris, France - May 28, 2022  Liverpool fans in the stands REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
Ian Byrne, the Labour MP for Liverpool West Derby, attended the match in Paris and said he had never witnessed such scenes since the 1989 Hillsborough disaster. (AP)

Representatives from local authorities, police and final organisers were meeting to review events outside the stadium during which Liverpool fans queueing for admission were tear-gassed.

Amelie Oudea-Castera, France’s Sports Minister, continued to claim fraud and said there were thousands of fake tickets.

“The major point is to try to understand precisely what happened during this massive fraud,” she said. “There are witnesses and the figures corroborate this, 30,000-40,000 people without tickets or with fake tickets and we saw some fake tickets.

“We can see they are professional and that’s meant some controls didn’t notice it. We want there to be a very detailed, in-depth inquiry with UEFA.

“We are waiting for the rapid setting off of this inquiry.”

Sports Minister Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, left, and French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin attend a press conference following a meeting on security after incidents during the Champions League final at the Stade France stadium, Monday, May 30, 2022 in Paris. The British government says it's deeply concerned over the treatment of Liverpool supporters by French authorities, who blamed fans for unrest at the Champions League final amid overcrowding outside the Stade de France. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias)
Amelie Oudea-Castera, France’s Sports Minister (pictured with Gerald Darmanin) , continued to claim fraud and said there were thousands of fake tickets. (AP)

British MPs called for an investigation amid condemnation of the way the Premier League club’s supporters were treated..

Ian Byrne, the Labour MP for Liverpool West Derby, attended the match in Paris and said he had never witnessed such scenes since the 1989 Hillsborough disaster.

Liverpool, who lost 1-0 to Real Madrid, have “officially requested a formal investigation into the causes of these unacceptable issues”, while CEO Billy Hogan told LFCTV the treatment of fans was “absolutely unacceptable” and that “people’s safety was put at risk”.

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