Police fire tear gas at Liverpool fans at stadium ahead of Champions League final

A sign in the ground blamed fans for arriving late. (Photo: Sky News)

Saturday at the Stade de France, riot police sprayed tear gas and pepper spray at Liverpool fans who endured long lines to enter the Champions League final, which was delayed by 37 minutes due to security issues with angry crowds.

During Liverpool's 1-0 loss to Real Madrid in the European season's championship game, UEFA blamed jammed turnstiles on the thousands of fans who acquired counterfeit tickets. The competition organizers did not identify their country of origin, and Liverpool expressed "huge disappointment" over the security concerns its fans encountered.

Anger-filled Liverpool supporters were seen clinging to barriers and chanting, "Let us in!" We've got tickets."

There were numerous incidents in which fans breached security and attempted to enter the stadium. The Associated Press witnessed two supporters, one of whom was wearing Liverpool apparel, being pulled to the ground and escorted out of the gates.

Three further people bypassed security and rushed through the concourse and into the stadium's lower level. Other individuals, not wearing evident team regalia, climbed the barriers as Liverpool supporters yelled at them to get down.

Despite spectators still attempting to pass past ticket checks, the game began. Riot police fired more rounds of tear gas at individuals outside the lines from within the security barrier. The eye-irritating drugs were observed to cause police and stewards to collapse to the ground.

Colm Lacey witnessed "children crying and people trapped outside the exits."

"People began to cut in front of the line, then they tore the gate open, and then there was a push," recalled Lacey.

About fifteen minutes before the scheduled 9 p.m. local kickoff, it was announced that there would be a delay, citing the late arrival of supporters at the stadium. It was met with jeers by the stadium's supporters, who had already endured long lines. The game finally began at 9:37 p.m.

"We've been at this gate since 6:15," Angela Murphy, a Liverpool fan, told the Associated Press through a fence. "I suffer from severe asthma and have been tear gassed twice. I'm having a tough time."

When asked what prompted the tear gassing, Murphy responded, "Nothing, we're standing here." There was no evidence. It's been horrible, and we have been well behaved."

Police officers with batons and riot shields went from gate to gate to prevent pockets of ticketless people from entering the stadium. One cop fell to the ground and required assistance from other police officers. Officers repeatedly used tear gas toward Liverpool fans.

After passing security, a Liverpool supporter kissed his ticket and gazed at the sky.

Joe Moorcroft, a Liverpool supporter, complained about being treated like animals.

"It's an outrage. "We've seen this before; it poses a health risk," he stated. "We have seen this before, and it will occur again. I now feel it. They sprayed tear gas onto the crowd."

UEFA expressed "sympathy for those affected" and announced an urgent investigation by French police, authorities, and the French Football Federation.

"Thousands of fans who had purchased counterfeit tickets that did not work at the turnstiles clogged up the Liverpool end turnstiles before the game," UEFA said.

This caused a buildup of fans attempting to enter. Therefore, the kickoff was delayed by 35 minutes to allow as many spectators with valid tickets as possible to obtain entry. As the crowd grew outside the stadium after kickoff, the police dispersed them with tear gas and forced them to leave.

Liverpool desires an official inquiry.

The club said that it was "extremely dissatisfied" with the stadium admission problems and security perimeter breach that Liverpool fans experienced. "This is the most important match in European football, and fans should not have to witness the scenes we have witnessed tonight."

The images resembled the mayhem outside Wembley Stadium before last year's European Championship final. This was partly owing to England supporters' aggressive attempts to enter their stadium for the Italy victory.

Publish : 2022-05-29 08:35:00

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