Overwhelmed security and great mayhem before the Champions League final at the Stade de France

The final started more than half an hour late due to major problems with access to the stadium in Saint-Denis by some supporters.

Finally football. After the chaos to gain access to the Stade de France, which ruined the party involving tens of thousands of supporters, the dream Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid started on Saturday 36 minutes late.

Tear gas, intrusion attempts by climbing barriers, crowds gathered and impatient… The atmosphere did not rise as hoped, during the hours preceding the most important match of the season.

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After 9:00 p.m., the scheduled kick-off time, an AFP journalist noted various intrusions at the stadium forecourt, at least twenty young people having managed to pass. Earlier, others tried to force a first filtering barrage of police.

Tear gas thrown at ticketless fans

Tear gas was fired to prevent a few dozen individuals from climbing barriers, AFP noted. “Do not force entry to the Stade de France“, warned on Twitter in French, English and Spanish the Paris Police Prefecture, which had deployed 6,800 police officers, gendarmes and firefighters to ensure the security of the match, with an eye on the thousands of fans of the “Redsvenus without billets.

Write well that it is not the Liverpool supporters who have caused the mess, it is people from here who do not have tickets

A Liverpool supporter

Still far from the turnstiles at the south entrance at the scheduled kick-off time, an English supporter called out to the journalists on the other side of the gate and showed his ticket: “Write well that it is not the Liverpool supporters who have caused the mess, it is people from here who do not have tickets and who are trying to return“. At his side, another fan shows his bloody hand and explains that he was attacked. “We got gassed, it’s a shame“, he vociferates.

A young man enters without a ticket and is stopped… by a Liverpool fan

A few meters away, a young man in jeans and a black t-shirt managed to climb the gate, scatter the two stewards who were trying to stop him and file full speed down one of the large stairs leading to the upper tiers. Before being stopped by… a Liverpool fan. On the forecourt, clusters of people came and went, gathered near the entrances, warning ticket holders to come in when the match was about to begin.

Faced with the wait, the Liverpool players returned from the locker room and resumed their warm-up on the lawn at 9:07 p.m. Their Madrid opponents followed them a few minutes later. After about ten minutes on the pitch, in a surreal atmosphere, they returned to the locker room.

Supporters blocked in front of the gates of the stadium. REUTERS / PANORAMIC

Nearly 60,000 English fans, including two thirds without tickets, swept through Paris and Saint-Denis for the event. The authorities had called on spectators to come to the stadium as much as possible because of the strike movement which affects line B of the RER. At the start of the evening, the Liverpool team car had encountered difficulties in reaching the Stade de France car park due to the crowds, Jürgen Klopp’s team arrived several minutes behind the initial schedule.

This setback spoils the great party that started during the day in Paris and Saint-Denis, in the fan zones of the two teams. Nearly 30,000 fans of the “Reds” notably painted the course of Vincennes, in the French capital, red in a good-natured atmosphere.

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