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Officials at the Stade de France found a total of 2,800 “fake” tickets when scanning Liverpool fans into the Champions League final on Saturday, according to reports.

The Agence France-Presse claims the figure was confirmed by stadium authorities and representatives of Uefa during a meeting with the French government on Monday.

The French interior minister, Gérald Darmanin, claimed on Monday that 30,000 to 40,000 Liverpool fans had turned up for the game either without tickets or with counterfeits. He spoke of “massive, industrial-scale and organised fraud with fake tickets”.

The far lower figure of 2,800 relates to tickets scanned by stadium officials and has not been publicised by the French government.

A number of Liverpool fans have said problems with the scanning machines meant legitimate tickets were identified as counterfeit.

Scenes outside the stadium before the fixture, with thousands of Liverpool fans herded into narrow spaces as they waited hours to enter the ground, have sparked international outrage. Fans have reported oppressive treatment by police, including the use of teargas, and numerous claims of assault by local criminals as they waited to enter the ground.

AFP said it had seen a report sent to French officials, allegedly predicting as many as 50,000 Liverpool fans would arrive in Paris without a legal means of getting into the game.

According to AFP, a briefing note from police body the National Division of the Fight against Hooliganism (DNLH) claimed:

Some [Liverpool fans] will have fake tickets and will try to use them to access the stadium. Others will try to enter the arena by deception, for example by using the uniforms of stewards, UEFA, cleaning or medical staff.

Liverpool have demanded an apology for Darmanin’s remarks. The chief executive, Billy Hogan, has confirmed the club are investigating the possibility for legal action and the chairman, Tom Werner, wrote to Darmanin:

Your comments were irresponsible, unprofessional, and wholly disrespectful to the thousands of fans harmed physically and emotionally.

On Monday UEFA announced it would launch an independent inquiry. A former Portuguese government minister and member of the World Anti-doping Agency board, Dr. Tiago Brandão Rodrigues, is to lead the review.

Irishtimes

By Amara

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