Football: Champions League final kick-off delayed 'for security reasons'

Fans are stopped by police officers at the turnstiles inside the stadium, as the match is delayed. PHOTO: REUTERS
Police keep an eye on the crowds ahead of the match. PHOTO: AFP
Fans and police officers at the turnstiles inside the stadium as the match is delayed. PHOTO: REUTERS

PARIS (AFP) - The Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid in Paris kicked off over half an hour later than scheduled having been delayed "due to a security issue", Uefa said on Saturday (May 28).

The match was supposed to kick off at 9pm (3am on Sunday, Singapore time) at the Stade de France but announcements in the ground said the hold up was caused by the "late arrival" of supporters.

After a delay the teams were lining up in the tunnel as the opening ceremony got under way with kick-off due 36 minutes late.

Police sources told AFP that supporters tried to force their way through the first ticket checkpoint outside the stadium - situated in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis - but that access to the venue remained "watertight".

Tear gas was fired by police after several dozen people attempted to climb over barriers, according to an AFP journalist on the scene with about 20 succeeding in doing so and got into the ground.

Thousands of supporters were still massed outside the stadium with half an hour to go to kick-off.

"For security reasons, the Uefa Champions League final kick-off has been delayed by 15 minutes," Uefa tweeted, although that delay was likely to be longer as the Liverpool players returned to the pitch to warm up.

There were still large sections of empty seats in the official Liverpool end of the 80,000-capacity stadium at the time the game was supposed to start.

Some 6,800 security forces were deployed for the event, with between 30,000 and 40,000 Liverpool fans without tickets for the final expected in Paris.

A fan zone with a capacity of over 40,000 was set up for them on an avenue in the east of the French capital.

Around 20,000 fans of each club were officially allocated tickets for the game.

A police officer gestures while fans wait at the turnstiles inside the stadium, as the match is delayed. PHOTO: REUTERS

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