Soccer-Blame game in France after 'chaotic' Champions League final
PARIS (Reuters) - Chaotic scenes at the French national stadium before and during Saturday night's Champions League final were branded a national embarrassment, while French ministers blamed Liverpool fans for the trouble.
The final between Liverpool and Real Madrid kicked off with a 35-minute delay after police tried to hold back people attempting to force their way into the Stade de France without tickets, while some ticket holders complained they were not let in.The game, a rematch of the 2018 final, had been scheduled for St Petersburg's Gazprom Arena but was shifted to the Stade de France after Russia's Feb.Having spent the latter part of the season being touted for a unique quadruple, they face the prospect of potential double disappointment after missing out on the Premier League title to Manchester City by a solitary point on the last day.Thiago was substituted with a muscle issue in the first half of Sunday's final Premier League game against Wolverhampton Wanderers and Fabinho has not played since hobbling off with a hamstring tweak during the 2-1 win over Aston Villa on May 10.
Television footage showed images of young men, who did not appear to be wearing the red Liverpool jerseys, jumping the gates of the stadium and running away.Other people outside, including children, were tear-gassed by riot police, a Reuters witness said."I am happy that the game is here for thousands of reasons," Klopp told reporters.Some riot police officers stormed into the stadium while others charged at people trying to knock down stadium gates.So while bookies' favourites Liverpool have lost fewer games in all competitions this term than Madrid have in the Champions League alone, the pressure appears to be more on the Reds to lift the trophy at the Stade de France.European soccer's governing body UEFA blamed fake tickets for causing the issue and said it would review the events together with the French authorities and the French Football Federation, in a statement welcomed by the British ambassador in Paris, Menna Rawlings." The German said moving the final to Paris was"exactly the right message that Russia should get"."We need to establish the facts," Rawlings tweeted, adding her"commiserations" to Liverpool after a"valiant performance" in their 1-0 defeat by Real.Getting a feeling for the stadium and the location.
France's Interior and Sports ministers squarely put the blame on"British" supporters.Kyiv and the West call it an unprovoked war of aggression.It has been a stellar season that took some time to arrive for the 34-year-old Frenchman, who took has cemented a place as the undisputed leader and most influential player in a team that needed a talisman after losing Cristiano Ronaldo four years ago."Thousands of British 'supporters', without any ticket or with fake ones have forced their way in and, at times, used violence again stadium staff," Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said on Twitter, thanking French police."The attempts at intrusion and fraud by thousands of English supporters complicated the work of the stadium staff and police but will not tarnish this victory," Sports minister Amelie Oudea-Castera tweeted.I am sure some people in Ukraine can still watch it and we do it for you, 100%," Klopp said.Some 68 people had been arrested by 1.They came from behind in all their knockout stage clashes against Paris St Germain, Chelsea and Manchester City to win with last-minute goals that turned the Bernabeu into a place where fans and players started believing miracles come true.20 local time on Sunday while there were 238 interventions by medics for people who were very lightly injured, Paris police said in a statement.(Reporting by Dhruv Munjal in Bengaluru; Editing by William Mallard) Article type: metered."We will have a normal training session and will see.
UEFA issued a statement late on Saturday saying:"In the lead-up to the game, the turnstiles at the Liverpool end became blocked by thousands of fans who had purchased fake tickets which did not work in the turnstiles." Liverpool Football Club also issued a statement, saying:"We are hugely disappointed at the stadium entry issues and breakdown of the security perimeter that Liverpool fans faced.Liverpool's Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho and Thiago have suffered with injuries over the last few weeks and there are questions over how fit they will be for the big game."We have officially requested a formal investigation into the causes of these unacceptable issues." The scenes at the stadium caused outrage in France, with politicians of all sides calling it a national disgrace."This a shame for France!", Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, a hard-right former presidential candidate, said on Twitter."If you look at the way Real Madrid celebrate those comebacks then I would say they are the favourites," Klopp said, referring to Real's fightbacks against Paris St Germain, Chelsea and Manchester City in the earlier rounds.
Even some in French President Emmanuel Macron's camp lamented the events, which occurred two years before Paris hosts the Olympic Games."Scuffles at the Stade de France, brawls in bars, green spaces turned into trash...One observation: we are not ready for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games," Nathalie Loiseau, a European lawmaker in Macron's party said on Twitter."We delivered that night and circumstances hit us.
(Reporting by Michel Rose, Julien Pretot and Fernando Kallas; Editing by Clare Fallon) Article type: metered.
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