Champions League final delayed over 'security reasons'

A few ticketless fans were seen trying to gain access to the Stade de France, despite a permanent fence being in place around the perimeter.
Champions League final delayed over 'security reasons'

PA Sport Staff

Updated at 8.22pm

Liverpool’s Champions League final against Real Madrid was delayed amid chaotic scenes outside the Stade de France.

France’s national stadium stepped in to host the showpiece after St Petersburg was stripped of the final in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

This is the third time that the Stade de France has hosted the Champions League final, but there seemed a distinct lack of organisation around this occasion.

There were shambolic scenes outside the ground in the hours before the match and the stadium announcer confirmed at 8.46pm local time – 14 minutes before kick-off – that kick-off had been delayed.

UEFA confirmed it would start at 8.36pm. The stadium announcer claimed it was due to “the late arrival of fans at the stadium” and the governing body said it was due to “security reasons”.

Speaking to Breakingnews.ie, one fan who was stuck queueing outside the stadium described the scenes.

"It’s a disgrace- it was a potential Hillsboro waiting to happen - effectively six security guards trying to check tickets for about 30,000 fans," the fan said.

"You could feel the tension rise -.took us 30 minutes to get through a horrible bottleneck, and we were there at 7pm for a 9pm kick off.

It was utter chaos outside
"Hopefully no one gets hurt, [it was] so badly organised.
"I am glad kick-off is delayed as lots of very stressed [were] people arriving - it was scary."

A few ticketless fans were seen trying to gain access to the Stade de France, despite a permanent fence being in place around the perimeter.

At least one gate was locked outside the ground – Gate Y, which was the main one for the Liverpool end.

Fans were seen up against the fence shouting at people to sort the situation out and let them in. Riot police were in attendance.

Posts on social media also indicate there were major difficulties for fans getting into the stadium.

In a post on Twitter, Gary Lineker said: "Finding it impossible to get in the ground. This appears to be very dangerous. Absolute carnage."

Steven Rotheram, the mayor of Liverpool described scenes outside the stadium as "chaotic".

"The scenes outside the Stade De France are completely chaotic, with a total breakdown of control and communication outside the ground," Mr Rotheram said.

"All relevant authorities must be held accountable for this failure."

Liverpool emerged to warm-up again at 9.06pm local time as the delay continued.

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