The Match of the Day presenter was among thousands who were unable to enter the ground in Paris ahead of kick-off with widespread reports that gates to the stadium were locked
Gary Lineker has confirmed that he is caught up in the chaos outside Stade de France before Saturday night’s Champions League final.
The meeting at the stadium, on the outskirts of Paris, was supposed to get underway at 8pm GMT but the kick-off was delayed by 30 minutes as thousands of fans were unable to enter the stadium. A number of fans began tweeting in the hour before kick-off that huge queues meant they were unable to enter the ground.
The large queues formed shortly after the Liverpool team bus was caught up in traffic. The Liverpool end was noticeably patchy less than half an hour before kick-off as supporters struggled to get in with multiple fans caught up in the queues sharing photographs of locked gates of the stadium, with a bottle-neck of fans building up around the streets .
Including the thousands of Reds fans who were caught up in the queues, Match of the Day presenter Lineker confirmed he too could not access the stadium. The former striker tweeted 16 minutes before the original scheduled 8pm kick-off time: “Finding it impossible to get on the ground. This appears to be very dangerous. Absolute carnage.”
He went on to post 23 minutes later, with thousands of fans still stuck outside the ground at 8:10pm GMT: “I’m not sure it’s possible to have a more poorly organized event if you tried. Absolutely shambolic and dangerous. @UEFAcom “. And then he immediately wrote: “They’ve just announced another 15 minute delay“ because of the late arrival of fans ”. Utter b *******.”
Earlier in the day, the popular TV host tweeted: “In Paris for the final and Liverpool fans outnumbering Real Madrid supporters by 2 to 1… well, they were in the lift I was just in.”
Catherine Iville/Getty Images)
Lineker had fronted BT Sport’s coverage of the Champions League until this season, when he stepped back from the role to follow Leicester City – whom he supports – in their European ventures. He was one of the thousands in attendance at the Stade de France who were caught up in the chaos ahead of kick-off.
Lineker’s friend and fellow Match of the Day pundit Alan Shearer has said of the queues: “We have to hope that everyone outside is OK. For the players their preparation is meticulous to the minute. They have warmed up and their day has been designed for kick-off at a certain time.”
Speaking on the impact that the delay could have on the players, the former Newcastle striker added: “Now they are back in the dressing room, they don’t know how long they have to sit around for or stretch for. The delay is no good for the players either. They might have to come out and do another warm-up.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.