Champions League final start delayed over Paris crowd issues

SAINT-DENIS, France (AP) — Kickoff in the Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid was delayed by at least 30 minutes on Saturday after security struggled to cope with the the vast crowd and supporters climbing over fences.

There were sporadic instances of soccer fans, apparently without tickets, breaking through security and attempting to get into the stadium. The Associated Press saw two fans — one was wearing Liverpool attire — wrestled to the ground by stewards and bundled out of the gates.

Another fan evaded stewards and was seen sprinting through the concourse and into the bottom level of the stadium.

Supporter Colm Lacey saw “children crying, people trapped” outside the entrances.

“People started jumping the queue, then they ripped the gate open and then there was a push,” Lacey said.

The scenes were reminiscent of the chaos outside Wembley Stadium before the European Championship final last year between England and Italy.

There were long lines of Liverpool fans still outside the stadium when there was 40 minutes to kickoff.

About 15 minutes before the scheduled kickoff of 1900 GMT (9 p.m. local time), an announcement was made that there would be a delay, blaming the late arrival of fans to the stadium. It was greeted by jeers inside the stadium, given those fans had already endured long queues.

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Rob Harris And Steve Douglas, The Associated Press