Chaos, reminiscent of last year's Champions League final, happened at Porto's match against Inter.
Porto yesterday hosted Inter at home: the match ended in a goalless draw, and then the Italian club passed, which won in Milan with a minimum score (1: 0). The goalless match was marked by the removal of Pepe in the last added minutes (the defender went over the yellow ones) and that, perhaps, is all.
The most exciting thing was left outside the field - the fan Rees spoke about his trip to the match in a thread on Twitter. And he revealed a complete organizational failure, reminiscent of the one before the Champions League final a year ago. Luckily, there was no tear gas now.) Here is a translation of his story.
"I came an hour early, which is what I do almost every time I go to a match. This was my first time in Porto, so I wanted to take photos of the iconic Dragao before the game started. But I had yet to learn what Porto and UEFA had in store for me.
Here is my ticket. I had to enter through gate 21, which is on the stadium's north side. When I arrived, they told me I had entered the wrong entrance, as my ticket indicated "entrance 19". It's okay - I still came early, so I went where they pointed me.
Approaching the 19th exit, I noticed only Inter fans were there. I'm not a fan of Porto, and I've never been to the stadium, so I didn't know which area was reserved for away fans. I thought that I accidentally bought a ticket for the guest sector. While I was climbing the stairs, more and more people came every minute. Countless Inter fans were denied entry despite having valid tickets, being told they were at the wrong gate.
By this time, the match had already started. I felt incredibly insecure, and many others felt the same way. The police did nothing to help or explain the situation we were all in. The queue moved slower and slower and became denser ... When I was close to the entrance, I saw something that no one was supposed to see, going to watch football. A young Inter fan emerged from the balcony above and was pushed into the crowd by the policeman. Of course, the Inter fans didn't like it and started screaming. The fan should not be afraid that the police will push him off the balcony. The fact that I'm saying this at all is kind of crazy in itself. I will never forget this moment; terrifying.
Finally, when I got to the entrance, I was told to return to the gate I initially tried to enter. To gate 21. Most other fans were also denied entry, even those with tickets that said they had to go through gates 19 and 20.
Feeling defeated, I headed back to gate 21. It was already 20:40, and people were being driven away from the entrance. When the clock hit 20:41, they completely closed it, letting hundreds of Porto fans through - with valid tickets.
After all this hassle, I, like hundreds of other fans, could not even watch the match.
Terrible display of the Porto/UEFA organization - I'm not sure who is to blame, but based on the track record, I can assume ...
I spoke to some Porto fans who told me their club sold tickets twice by mistake, causing many tickets to be invalidated. Like it or not, the scenes I have witnessed are not worthy of the eyes of any fan. Many, including myself, had to pay for airfare, accommodation, and vacations to attend the game. I hope that Porto or UEFA will refund the money to all these fans and at least provide some compensation for travel expenses. This is a disaster."
How did it happen?
On the day of the match, Porto announced that Inter fans who bought tickets to the "home" sectors, even though the club, would be denied entry to the stadium. The Italian club, in turn, claims that an agreement was reached that their fans would be present at the game if they were dressed in neutral colors.
UEFA press service:
"We learned that most visiting fans bought tickets not for the away
sector, but for the rest of the stadium seats. UEFA regulations
stipulate that five percent of the stadium's capacity must be
allocated to the visiting team in a different sector. Responsibility
for the safe treatment of spectators and related ticketing policies is
the match organizer's responsibility and the relevant authorities
responsibility. Both clubs discussed mitigation measures. UEFA is
currently looking into this matter."
The chief executive of the Italian club, Beppe Marotta, said that he dedicates Inter's exit to the 1/4 finals of the Champions League to the fans who could not get to the stadium this evening.
"I saw footage of families that were locked outside, crying children who had flown here from Italy," he said. - Football should represent unity and joy, so this is the bitter page of a beautiful evening. On the morning of the match, we met with the local authorities, and they assured us that the fans would be allowed even outside the guest zone. But that did not happen. They were mostly families with children who came to the stadium not to commit acts of violence but to support their team. The situation was not so complex as to forbid them from entering the stadium. We understand that UEFA is not to blame, but we can prevent such things from happening again with an official complaint.