Andy Robertson calls organisation of the Champions League final a ‘shambles’ after chaotic scenes in Paris… as the Liverpool defender says his friend was told a genuine ticket was FAKE, hits out at ‘horrendous’ treatment of fans and insists officials were ‘making it up at times’
Liverpool defender Andy Robertson has blasted UEFA as ‘shambles’ following the chaotic scenes before the Champions League final clash with Real Madrid in Paris.
As the match’s 8pm kickoff approached, reports suggested ‘hundreds of fans’ without tickets attempted to storm the Stade de France ahead of the match, which saw kickoff postponed by 30 minutes amid the disarray.
French police were forced to create a narrow human funnel, prompting crush concerns, as they separated fans trying to enter the venue in concerning scenes harkening to the UEFA Euro 2020 chaos at Wembley stadium.
UEFA has since released a statement that suggested thousands of Liverpool fans had been caught out and tried using ‘fake tickets’ that didn’t work at the turnstiles. The governing body later called for an inquiry from French officials into the use of teargas on fans at the Stade de France.
Now, Robertson has revealed a friend of his was denied entry into the stadium after being told his ticket is fake despite it being genuine.
The 28-year-old told BBC Sport: ‘One of my mates got told it was a fake which I assure you it wasn’t. It was a shambles really.’
Andy Robertson has labelled UEFA a ‘shambles’ following the chaotic scenes before the match
Liverpool fans including families and young children were ‘tear gassed’ by French police as chaos outside the Stade de France marred the build-up to the club’s UEFA Champions League final clash this evening
Liverpool fans, including young children, cover their faces as French police deploy pepper spray outside the Stade de France
Robertson added: ‘To be honest people were just making it up at times and panicking. Tear gas getting thrown at people was unacceptable.
‘It was horrendous for our fans and all families that have been through it as well. It wasn’t a nice experience, not a nice final to come to. The Champions League should be a celebration but it wasn’t that.
‘Obviously the final wasn’t meant to be here and whether the preparations were not as good as maybe they should have been but I am sure in the coming days an inquest will go into that.’
Meanwhile, a club statement from Liverpool FC after the match read: ‘We are hugely disappointed at the stadium entry issues and breakdown of the security perimeter that Liverpool fans faced this evening at Stade de France.
‘This is the greatest match in European football and supporters should not have to experience the scenes we have witnessed tonight. We have officially requested a formal investigation into the causes of these unacceptable issues.’
Kickoff was pushed back by an extra 30 minutes with eyewitnesses saying Liverpool fans were being held in ‘long and slow moving’ hour-long queues outside the stadium as the final fast approached
Riot police and Liverpool fans pictured at the entry to the Stade de France in Paris
Elsewhere French riot police were also accused of attacking Liverpool supporters watching their side lose the final from a dedicated fan zone in the Place de la Nation, Paris.
Scores of heavily armed officers were filmed hitting those who had gathered there, with a chilling video showing women among the victims of the police violence, which seemed to be unprovoked.
‘The police came at the fans with batons and shields,’ said an onlooker who witnessed the trouble, which came during the first half.
‘Officers had been standing by with water cannon and other crowd control devices all day, and their numbers increased as the day went on.
‘They seemed to be unhappy with the amount of drinking that went on, and so decided to move in. It seemed to be unprovoked.’
A police source said the officers were responding to ‘crown trouble’ among the thousands of Liverpool fans around Place de la Nation.
The night went from bad to worse for Liverpool as they watched Real Madrid win the match
Footage posted online also appeared to show fans climbing over fences at the Stade de France and rushing up steps leading to seating areas with no attempt to stop them.
Twenty-five minutes before the scheduled kick off Paris police put out a tweet urging fans not to ‘rush the gates’ as they approached the ground. But by then there were already reports of tear gas and pepper spray being used on fans who had been queuing more than two hours to get in.
Journalists caught up in the chaos allege they were ‘forced to delete’ incriminating footage of the heavy-handed security response before UEFA officials intervened to calm the situation.
For the Liverpool fans who did eventually manage to get in, their night went from bad to worse as they watched their team lose 1-0 through Vinicius Jr’s 59th minute strike.