The recently concluded UEFA Cup Final held in the Saint-Denis’s Stade de France in Paris on Saturday, 28 May 2022 will definitely be remembered, if not for the right reasons.
There was a lot of fanfare and fervent support from both Liverpool and Real Madrid fans, and this was evident from the frenzy that both precluded and followed the event.
However, hundreds of fans were disappointed at the long queues for ticket verification, given that there were purportedly many fans with fake tickets seeking admission to an already overbooked stadium.
There were disturbing scenes witnessed both prior to and following the conclusion of the match. Clearly French police were taking stern measures to avoid the hooliganism for which the game has recently fallen into disrepute.
Admittedly they had their hands full, as thousands of fans approached the stadium to enter the much hyped and anticipated final. Alas, it was not to be a pleasant experience for many of them.
Instances of police high-handedness, crowd resistance, tear gassing and baton charging were common occurrences, leaving many of the fans regretful and disappointed.
Beaten but not Down
The highly charged Liverpool fans were distraught and dejected at not being able to witness the match. Many even felt that their team could have done better if given more crowd support. However, this is highly debatable.
A Late Beginning
Due to the chaos in the stadium and the surrounding environs, the match itself started 40 minutes late. Meanwhile, the Liverpool club has decided to launch a formal complaint into the disastrous events that accompanied the Final. The security perimeter was broken, and this should not have been the case.
The Chaos that Prevailed
While the police and administration have blamed the sheer number of fans, some of them armed with fake tickets, crowding the turnstiles as the reason for the disarray, others have said that this is no excuse. It is simply a case of faulty administration and insufficient planning, they say.
However, there is some truth to police claims. There were verifiable instances of crowds trying to break the security cordons and trying to push their way into the stadium. There were even instances of people trying to clamber over the stadium walls to gain access.
To be fair, there is some truth to both sides of the story.
When Terror Reigns Supreme
To get matters into control, police had to take some drastic measures. They had to resort to tear gassing, baton charging and other physical measures to achieve some semblance of control. To those on the receiving end of these tactics, it all seemed quite high handed and unnecessary.
The Final Result
The final result of the match was that Liverpool was beaten by Real Madrid 1-0. This made Real Madrid champions for the 14th time, compared to Liverpool having lifted the cup on 6 occasions so far. The winning goal separating the two teams was scored by Vincius Junior in the 59th minute of the match.
Real Madrid have won the cup now 4 times in a row. The most common score in UEFA Finals remains 1-0.