French authorities were under fire Sunday after chaotic scenes around the Champions League final at the Stade de France, one of the main venues for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
News reports described "a fiasco", French police said 68 people were arrested and 238 injured amid major problems at the stadium gates which led to the Real Madrid-Liverpool match starting 37 minutes late.
Fans were tear-gassed by police as stadium authorities and European football's governing body UEFA said spectators had tried to gain entry with fake tickets, causing long delays at turnstiles, mostly at the end reserved for Liverpool fans.
UEFA first spoke of security problems as the game was delayed, then of fans arriving late, and then of problems with the fake tickets that didn't work at the turnstiles.
French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin tweeted some fans had attacked officers and "thousands" of Liverpool supporters had tried to gain entry with or without fake tickets. He thanked "the large number of security forces in this difficult environment".
But Liverpool called for a full investigation into these "unacceptable issues" in a statement issued during the match, which their Spanish rivals won 1-0.
Reds captain Andy Robertson said he gave a ticket to a friend who was also denied entry.
"One of my mates got told it was a fake, which I assure you it wasn't. It was a shambles really," he told the BBC.
Spanish sports minister Jose Manuel Franco was quoted as telling Cadena Ser radio he had to wait more than an hour before being able to enter the arena.
He also said he had seen people jumping fences in order to enter without tickets as he questioned the French authorities' organisation of the European showpiece, a claim echoed by UEFA executive committee member Karl-Heinz Rummenigge of Germany.
Rummenigge told Bild TV that "French police didn't get a good handle on the organisation."
UEFA said it would "urgently review" the scenes around the game that was originally to take place in St Petersburg but moved to the Stade de France after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
The chaos sparked concerns over the hosting of next year's Rugby World Cup and the 2024 Olympics, when the stadium will host the athletics and rugby sevens.
Le Parisien newspaper said Saturday's events left "the aftertaste of a fiasco" and "raise questions ahead of the rugby World Cup and Olympic Games."
Le Figaro spoke of "a catastrophic image for France" which was "incapable of organising an event of such a magnitude."
Sports paper l'Equipe felt "a mixture of anger, incomprehension and shame looking at the incompetence of the French organisers that could have had dramatic consequences had the Liverpool fans not been endlessly patient".
Australian Associated Press
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