French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin insisted there was fraud at an “industrial level” as he blamed fans with fake tickets for the problems ahead of the Champions League final.
French authorities are coming under increasing pressure over their handling of Liverpool fans on Saturday but claim the influx of fans with fake tickets was the biggest problem.
“There was massive fraud at the industrial level and the organization of fake tickets, 70 percent of the tickets that came to the Stade de France were fake tickets,” Darmanin said at a news conference.
“More than 2,600 were confirmed by UEFA as non-validated tickets despite having passed the first filter.
“The massive presence of the fake tickets was the problem that caused delays, the game was postponed three times.
“We had a long meeting where we had exactly the same interpretation of what happened.
“I would like to express our regrets regarding the organization of the final as some people were not able to see the entire game. I regret the mistakes that have taken place before.”
The chaotic scenes that overshadowed the match at the Stade de France came under the spotlight at a meeting in Paris on Monday.
Representatives from local authorities, police and final organizers met to review events outside the stadium where Liverpool fans queuing to enter were tear gassed.
Amelie Oudea-Castera, France’s sports minister, continued to allege fraud and said there were thousands of counterfeit tickets.
“The most important point is to try to understand exactly what happened during this massive scam,” she said. “There are witnesses and the numbers confirm it, 30,000-40,000 people without tickets or with fake tickets and we saw some fake tickets.
“We can see they are professional and that means some controls didn’t notice. We want there to be a very detailed and thorough request to UEFA.
“We await the expeditious initiation of this investigation.”
British MPs called for an inquiry as they condemned the way the Premier League club’s supporters were treated.
Ian Byrne, the Labor MP for Liverpool West Derby, attended the match in Paris and said he had not witnessed such scenes since the 1989 Hillsborough disaster. He has written Foreign Minister Liz Truss with a list of seven demands for UEFA and the French authorities, including a formal investigation and apologies.
In his letter, he said: “The French authorities and UEFA quite simply agree with this narrative.
“As a Liverpool fan I was in Paris for the game and I can honestly say the situation outside the stadium was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life – and as a Hillsborough survivor I don’t make that comment lightly.”
Merseyside Police observers described the behavior of the vast majority of supporters as “exemplary”, while their Paris Prefecture counterparts said some had “used excessive force” to get into the stadium.
Liverpool, who lost 1-0 to Real Madrid, have “officially requested a formal investigation into the causes of these unacceptable problems”, while CEO Billy Hogan told LFCTV the treatment of fans was “absolutely unacceptable” and “people’s safety has been jeopardized “. Risk”.
Culture Minister Nadine Dorries said: “I am calling on UEFA to launch a formal investigation into what went wrong and why, in coordination with stadium staff, the French Police, the French Football Association, Merseyside Police and Liverpool Football Club.
“It is in everyone’s interest to understand what happened and learn lessons from these events.”
UEFA was contacted by the PA news agency for comment.