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Barcelona v Eintracht Frankfurt

Laporta again blames Barcelona fans for Eintracht Frankfurt Europa League ticket fiasco

15:54 WAT 19/04/2022
Aficionados Eintracht Frankfurt en Barcelona
The president has defended the club's role in the incident which saw around 30,000 visiting fans attend Camp Nou

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has reiterated that the club was not to blame for the ticketing fiasco against Eintracht Frankfurt last week, again taking aim at club members and tour operators instead.

The German side were officially allocated 5,000 tickets for the Europa League quarter-final second-leg tie but around 30,000 visiting supporters managed to gain access to the stadium.

Buoyed by that extra support Frankfurt turned in a superb display to come away with a 3-2 win that secured a 4-3 aggregate victory, leaving Barca fans furious.

Members ‘misused’ their tickets

Laporta swiftly apologised for the incident, which left Barca boss Xavi complaining that his side had felt “robbed in their own home”.

He also confirmed that tickets for future European ties would be non-transferable in an attempt to prevent fans from selling tickets on to unregistered supporters.

That did not do much to curb the anger of some Barcelona supporters, however, with fans group Grada d’Animacio boycotting Monday’s La Liga game against Cadiz.

The group said the events on Thursday marked a "social humiliation" and will go down as "the greatest infamy" the club has ever suffered at home.

Responding to the fresh wave of criticism Laporta again insisted that the club was not to blame, though it would take responsibility in ensuring it does not happen again.

"The club is not to blame for what happened against Eintracht, but it is responsible," Laporta told reporters at a news conference.

"We didn't sell tickets to German fans beyond the 5,000 away tickets. Sales from Germany weren't allowed and there were many people trying to buy tickets from there. The system of control worked up to a point, but some organised groups were able to breach the mechanisms in place.

"We inherited the system from the previous board. We thought it could work but we have seen that for special games it doesn't.

"Tickets will now be non-transferrable for non-domestic matches and high-risk games. We are working on other measures so that it does not happen again."

Asked who was to blame for the fiasco, Laporta added: "A group of members misused their season tickets, which they ceded to German fans.

"It is sad because we love this club and it is hard to imagine season ticket holders giving their tickets to rival fans. But this happened and it will be subject to analysis.

"There are around 7,000 members that purchased tickets with the discount code and [those tickets] ended up in German hands. We don't want it to become a witch hunt, but there is a lot of disappointment and we will look into possibly taking action.

"We have also detected malpractice from a tour operator, whose contract with the club has now been terminated.”

Laporta added that simply refusing to let the German fans who had tickets enter the stadium was not a solution as it could have sparked flashpoints at the turnstiles.

"I am sure we could have done better," he said. "It concerned us to see so many German fans arriving at the ground, but if we impeded them from entering, we would be talking about more serious incidents."

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