France’s sports minister says Liverpool supporters carrying fake tickets to the Champions League final in Paris instigated crowd problems at the Stade de France.
Amelie Oudea-Castera admits the situation was made worse with youths from the local area trying to force their way into the stadium ahead of the match, which saw Jurgen Klopp’s side beaten by Spanish giants Real Madrid.
The response of the French police has been heavily criticised, after pepper spray and tear gas was fired into crowds of Liverpool fans waiting to gain entry; something Oudea-Castera expressed regret about when speaking to French radio network RTL.
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“What happened, first of all, was this mass gathering of the British supporters of the Liverpool club, without tickets, or with fake tickets”, she said.

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Oudea-Castera went on to say, “A certain number of youths from the nearby area who were present tried to get in by mixing with the crowd.”
UEFA initially blamed the “late arrival” of supporters for the problems, displaying the message on screens within the stadium, but Merseyside Police - who were also present in the French capital - say the majority of fans queued up in an “exemplary manner” hours before the game’s scheduled kick off time, which ended up being delayed due to the issues.
Liverpool have requested a formal investigation into the “unacceptable issues”, while a meeting between key parties has been scheduled to take place.
UEFA, the French Football Association and the French sports ministry, will reflect and discuss what happened with stadium officials and police in order to “draw lessons” from the event.
Paris will host next year’s Rugby World Cup, before staging the Olympics in 2024, so it is not just the footballing world who will be paying close attention to the next steps taken by the French authorities to explain what went wrong, and the prevention methods they employ to ensure similar scenes are not seen again.
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