Stade de France officials found a total of 2,800 “fake” tickets when scanning Liverpool fans at the Champions League end on Saturday, according to reports.
Agence France-Presse says the figure was confirmed by stadium authorities and representatives of uefa during a meeting with the French government on Monday.
French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said on Monday that 30,000 to 40,000 Liverpool fans he had shown up for the game without tickets or with counterfeit bills. He spoke of “massive fraud, on an industrial scale and organized with counterfeit bills.”
The much lower figure of 2,800 relates to tickets scanned by stadium officials and has not been published by the French government.
a number of Liverpool Fans have said that problems with the scanning machines meant that legitimate tickets were identified as fake.
Scenes outside the stadium before the match, with thousands of Liverpool fans packed into cramped spaces as they waited for hours to enter the pitch, have sparked international outrage. Fans reported oppressive treatment by police, including the use of tear gas, and numerous claims of assault by local criminals while waiting to enter the field.
AFP said it had seen a report sent to French officials, allegedly predicting that as many as 50,000 Liverpool fans would arrive in Paris without a legal means of getting into the game.
According to AFP, an informative note from the police force, the National Division for the Fight against Hooliganism (DNLH), stated: “Some [Liverpool fans] will have false tickets and will try to use them to gain access to the stadium. Others will try to enter the arena through trickery, for example by wearing the uniforms of the stewards, Uefa, cleaning or medical staff.
Liverpool have demanded an apology for Darmanin’s comments. Chief executive Billy Hogan confirmed that the club is investigating the possibility of legal action and chairman Tom Werner wrote to Darmanin: “Your comments were irresponsible, unprofessional and totally disrespectful to the thousands of fans who have been harmed physically and emotionally. ”
On Monday, UEFA announced it would launch an independent investigation. A former Portuguese government minister and World Anti-Doping Agency board member, Dr. Tiago Brandão Rodrigues, will lead the review.
The deputy mayor of the 12th arrondissement of Paris, where the Liverpool fanzone took place, has called for an investigation into the failures of the French authorities at the Stade de France.
Richard Bouigue, who contacted Liverpool and their supporters in organizing the fanzone at the Place de la Nation, has written to the Spirit of Shankly union to praise the behavior of the fans.
“I am bitterly sorry that Liverpool fans have been criticized and told that they are solely responsible for the lack of organization of the final,” Bouigue writes. “We must cut out the useless controversies, establish the facts and compare them with the good functioning of the ‘fan zone’. The fans are not schizophrenic: Dr Jekyll in the morning and Mr Hyde in the evening at the Stade de France. The time for official denial is over, the time for apologies must be imposed.
“I regret the dysfunctions in the organization of the game and the lack of maintenance of order that led to this true fiasco. We owe them, and ourselves, a serious and thorough investigation, which will take place in the coming days, involving representatives of Liverpool supporters and the relevant English authorities.”
Bouigue contrasts the chaos at the Stade de France with the order in the fanzone, where he estimates 45,000 Liverpool fans attended. However, French police also used tear gas there to disperse the crowd after the match.
“I can’t hide the fact that many local residents and shopkeepers were concerned: stereotypes about English fans are hard to break,” he writes. “But you knew how to reassure everyone, bring life to a neighborhood, animate it with your songs, your enthusiasm and your good humor. I want to sincerely thank you for that.”