'I might have been wrong' - Paris police head backtracks on Champions League final ticket claim and admits 'failure'

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Torcedores do Liverpool tentam entrar no Stade de France, Champions League, 28052022Getty Images

The head of Paris police for the Champions League final admits he may have been incorrect in his initial claim that there were up to 40,000 fake tickets in circulation outside the Stade de France and said the security effort before the match was a "failure".

Supporters from both clubs received rough treatment before the showpiece event at the Stade de France on May 28, and have since had to deal with disputed allegations from French authorities that they acted improperly.

Tear gas and pepper spray were used on children as attempts were made to push the crowd back and prevent a crush, while a large number of fans were allegedly able to gain entry to the game without tickets.

What has the head of the Paris police said?

Paris police prefect Didier Lallement was the man in charge of the organisation outside of the stadium, and has now expressed regret over the harrowing scenes.

He did, however, insist that the use of such extreme measures was the only way to prevent an escalation of a situation that could have resulted in fatalities.

"It was obviously a failure, because people were pushed around or attacked even though we owed them security," Mr Lallement has told the French Senate.

"I am fully aware that people acting in good faith, even families, were tear-gassed. For this I am very sorry. But there was no other way."

On his claims of the number of fake tickets outside the venue, he backtracked from previous remarks, saying: "I might have been wrong on the figure of 30,000 to 40,000 thousand [fans with fake tickets] I gave to the [interior] minister.

"From an operational standpoint, it doesn't change anything if it was around 40,000 or 30,000 or 20,000."

What happens next?

Liverpool supporters also filed complaints about Saint-Denis area gangs that allegedly robbed phones and watches at knifepoint after the game.

Mr Lallement went on to promise that he will identify those who were directly responsible for the violence at the Stade de France and bring them to justice.

A UEFA investigation is now underway to determine the exact cause of the chaos, with Europe's main governing body having also issued an apology after initially blaming ticketless fans.

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