France has apologised for the chaos that marred the Champions League final in Paris on Saturday but sharp differences over who was to blame risked turning into a diplomatic row after Downing Street called the scenes “deeply upsetting and concerning”.
French ministers admitted that the way British football fans were handled at the game between Liverpool and Real Madrid went badly wrong.
But they blamed distribution of fake tickets “on an industrial scale” for crowd control issues that resulted in women and children being tear-gassed by police outside the Stade de France.
The game, won by Real Madrid, was delayed while thousands of Liverpool fans struggled to gain entry.
At a press conference after an emergency meeting of sporting and law enforcement officials on Monday, interior minister Gérald Darmanin and sports minister Amélie Oudéa-Castéra both said they regretted what happened to Liverpool fans massed outside the gates.
“We have nothing to be proud of about what happened on Saturday night,” said Darmanin. “Sports should be a celebration and this one was in part ruined,” he added.