Champions League final delayed for ‘security reasons’

·2 min read
The giant screen informing fans of a delayed kick-off (Peter Byrne/PA) (PA Wire)
The giant screen informing fans of a delayed kick-off (Peter Byrne/PA) (PA Wire)

Liverpool’s Champions League final against Real Madrid was delayed amid chaotic scenes outside the Stade de France.

France’s national stadium stepped in to host the showpiece after St Petersburg was stripped of the final in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

This is the third time that the Stade de France has hosted the Champions League final but there seemed a distinct lack of organisation around this occasion.

There were shambolic scenes outside the ground in the hours before the match and the stadium announcer confirmed at 8.46pm local time – 14 minutes before kick-off – that kick-off had been delayed.

UEFA confirmed it would start at 8.15pm. The stadium announcer claimed it was due to “the late arrival of fans at the stadium” and the governing body said it was due to “security reasons”.

Kelly Cates – the daughter of Liverpool legend Sir Kenny Dalglish – posted: “Absolutely shambolic at the Stade de France.

“No way in, no way of knowing which way to go. Stay safe if you’re heading in. It has the potential to be very dangerous.”

There were large patches of empty seats as the original kick-off time passed and went, with long queues forming due to a distinct lack of organisation.

Some ticketless fans were seen scaling the perimeter fence or attempting to dart past security.

At least one gate was locked outside the ground – Gate Y, which was the main one for the Liverpool end.

Fans were seen up against the fence shouting at people to sort the situation out and let them in. Riot police were in attendance.

Liverpool emerged to warm-up again at 9.06pm local time as the delay continued.

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