40,000 fake tickets in the Champions League final? In fact, it was 2589.
One of the main allegations pushed by French officials to explain the scenes of the chaotic crowd that sparked fans outside of the Champions League final near Paris last weekend has been that tens of thousands of people came to the match with fake tickets.
French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin claimed that up to 70 percent of St.-Denis Stade de France tickets were counterfeit. He told a news conference on Monday that the root cause of the chaos was around 30,000 to 40,000 English fans who carried counterfeit tickets – or without tickets – who blocked the entrances.
However, according to official figures reviewed by The New York Times, the exact number of counterfeit tickets seized by the stewards who occupied the gates was much smaller: 2,589 to be exact.
This figure is almost three times the usual number of forgeries in the Champions League final, widely regarded as the equivalent of the Super Bowl in European football, but far below the number used by Darmanini, who has not yet provided details. the source of his assessment.
Darminini and French Sports Minister Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, who has made similar allegations about counterfeit tickets, were expected to provide further information on the day of the game’s scenes and their causes before a committee in the French Senate on Wednesday.
While most Real Madrid fans arrived with electronic tickets, Liverpool officially requested paper images to allocate 23,000 tickets. These tickets were equipped with two main security features: one, which had to be affixed with a chemical pen, and the other, which was a laser engraving of the Champions League Cup. Without them, access was denied by stewards at an original checkpoint far from the stadium’s barcode readers. This system collapsed under a flood of fans. To alleviate the growing crowd, officials abandoned those first checks and allowed the crowd to move closer to the stadium.
The failure has led to a criticism of the safety of the choir at a meeting where Real Madrid defeated Liverpool 1-0, reaching its record 14th European title. Liverpool police, who took part in side roles, noted the situation outside the gates “shocking. ” The club, its fans and a group of European supporters all called for an investigation, even while the game was in progress. And in the days that followed, British government officials have been demanding answers from their French counterparts and UEFA, the governing body of European football, about the treatment of thousands of Liverpool supporters.
Supporters faced a number of problems, including dangerous crushing when they were thrown into tight spaces, and the final was delayed by more than 30 minutes as French riot police used tear gas and pepper spray on fans after appearing to lose control. At the same time, hundreds of local young people tried to break into the stadium, either through turnstiles or climbing over security gardens. According to officials, up to 4,000 people without tickets could have succeeded.
Part of the explanation for Liverpool’s supporters being trapped in such a small space has now turned into a transport day for transport problems, including a staff strike that affected one of the main rail links to the stadium.
UEFA and local officials have compared the travel data for Saturday’s game with the data for the French Cup final at the Stade de France on 7 May. They found that four times as many fans passed through one station closest to the Stade de France. gates on Saturday when the station was used during the French Cup final. In their view, this contributed to a dangerous bottleneck for supporters.
It may take months for a full picture of what happened in St. Denis. On Tuesday, UEFA appointed former Portuguese Minister of Education Tiago Brandão Rodrigues to lead an independent inquiry into the failures at last year’s European Championship finals in London and recently in Seville, Spain. Around the Champions League final.
“The in-depth review examines the decision-making, responsibilities and behavior of all units participating in the finals,” UEFA said.
However, the allegations made by the French Government continue to anger Liverpool and its property rights. The club’s chairman, Tom Werner, said this in a caustic letter to the French sports minister, Oudéa-Castéra.
He wrote, he said: “It is out of complete distrust that a French government minister with enormous responsibility and influence can make a series of unsubstantiated statements on such an important issue before a proper, formal and independent investigative process has even begun.”
He deplored the “open data and unverified allegations” made to journalists on Monday before the investigation began.
“The fact that your public opinion went against this goal is a concern in itself,” he added. “The fact that you did it without turning to us or our supporters is even greater. All votes should be counted in this process and they should be counted equally and fairly.
In addition to attacking Oudéa-Castéra for his allegations, Werner also demanded a public apology. By late evening on Tuesday, Oudéa-Castéra’s tone had changed, although not its allegations of counterfeit tickets.
“The issue of fake tickets doesn’t change that: Liverpool is one of the biggest clubs of all time,” he wrote on Twitter. “And on Saturday, there were supporters with valid tickets who spent a terrible evening or couldn’t watch the game. We are sorry about that. ”
Liverpool continues to be flooded with mobile video footage of its supporters. Images, many of which are also uploaded to social media, are sometimes harassing, showing children and older fans dealing with the effects of tear gas – sometimes indiscriminately – by riot police.
Real Madrid fans faced similar problems on the side of their stadium. Since the final, several supporters have said they were attacked or abducted on their way to and from the stadium.
Amando Sánchez, 51, who traveled to Paris with a group of 14, mostly family members, said his 87-year-old father and older brother lost the game because of the chaos at the entrance gate. Another brother, Sánchez said, fought to steal his ticket as he prepared to present it at the stadium’s gate.
“Really no one was driving,” Sánchez said in an interview on Wednesday.