Liverpool vs Real Madrid: Start of Champions League final postponed for ‘security reasons’

Fans queue in front of the stadium
Large queues formed in front of the stadium

Uefa delayed the kick-off in the Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid by more than 30 minutes for “security reasons”.

The game at the Stade de France in Paris was scheduled to start at 20:00 BST but didn’t start until 20:36 BST.

Images were created of the gathering of huge crowds of fans queuing to get inside.

French police Tweeted 20 minutes before the gameexternal link was to begin and urged fans not to force entry.

As kick-off approached, large areas of empty seats could still be seen in the floor.

Outside, some fans were seen climbing fences or trying to get past security. The riot police were also present.

At 20:06 the Liverpool players re-emerged to warm up. Messages were displayed on the big screens at the stadium stating that the delay was due to the fans’ late arrival.

“Supporters tried to enter the stadium. They made their way through the first filter. The shielding at the Stade de France is watertight,” Reuters quoted French police as saying in a statement.

Police outside the grounds fired tear gas as a small number of fans attempted to climb over security barriers.

BBC journalist Nick Parrott, who was off the ground in person, told BBC Radio 5 Live: “I’ve just been pepper sprayed for the first time in my life. I’ve been to the Champions League final before and never been peppered before.

“I’ve been in front of Gate Y, which has opened and closed repeatedly for the past hour and a half, but nobody went through. Security personnel on the other side advanced and sprayed pepper spray.”

The opening ceremony began just after 20:20 BST before play finally got underway 16 minutes later.

Around 10 minutes after kick-off, Football Supporters Europe said: “Thousands are still trapped outside the stadium, remaining calm in the face of a totally unreasonable situation.”

The panel added: “Fans at the Champions League final bear no responsibility for today’s fiasco.”

BBC Sport’s John Watson said on the ground he “passed hundreds of Liverpool fans who were queuing at the gates an hour before kick-off and were not allowed in”.

“I can not understand the delay of the fans.”

Liverpool West Derby MP Ian Byrne tweetedexternal link saying he went through “one of the worst experiences of my life” and blaming Uefa for “terrible security and organization putting lives at risk”.

“I pray no fans were hurt because of the shameful lack of organization and expertise,” he added.

The Daily Mail’s Dominic King told BBC Radio 5 Live that he had spoken to fans queuing to get into the stadium: “It came out of nowhere. There was no violence or hostility, they are just dismayed at how the authorities have treated them. “

“We were told about 45 minutes beforehand that our end was full while thousands were out,” Liverpool fan Tyler, who spent £1,000 on his ticket, told BBC Radio 5 Live.

The final was originally supposed to be played in St. Petersburg, but the city was banned from the game after Russia invaded Ukraine.

How to follow Liverpool on the BBC bannerLiverpool banner footer

Leave a Comment