France blames Champions League chaos on ticket fraud

STORY: Speaking at a news conference on Monday, French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said he regretted that at least 30,000 fans found themselves “either without a ticket or with fake tickets.”

The match on Saturday (May 28) was delayed by more than 35 minutes after police tried to hold back people attempting to force their way into the national stadium without tickets. Some ticket holders complained that they were not let in.

Television footage showed images of young men who did not appear to be wearing red Liverpool jerseys jumping the gates of the stadium and running away from security to get into the match. Others outside, including women and youngsters, were tear-gassed by riot police, said a Reuters witness.

The crowd trouble has become a political issue ahead of next month's parliamentary elections and embarassed France which hosts the Rugby World Cup in 2023 and the Olympic Games in 2024.

Darmanin said police made at least 29 arrests inside the stadium, over half of which concerned British citizens.

He acknowledged that police had been caught off-guard by local delinquents who turned up to cause trouble at the match. But defending the security protocols in place, the minister said France had only had three months to prepare after the venue was moved from Russia.

Sports Minister Amelie Oudea-Castera said France has urged the UEFA football governing body to dig into the causes of the events.

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