PARIS (AP) — Riot police fired tear gas and pepper spray at Liverpool supporters forced to endure lengthy waits to get into the Champions League final amid logistical chaos and an attempt by UEFA and French authorities to blame overcrowding at turnstiles on people trying to access the stadium with fake tickets on Saturday.
The start of the showpiece game of the European football season, which Liverpool lost 1-0 to Real Madrid, was delayed for 37 minutes and kicked off as security was still struggling with the flow of frustrated supporters into the Stade de France.
UEFA claimed there were thousands of ticketless fans trying to gain access to the 80,000-plus capacity French national stadium but it did not identity where they were from.
French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin claimed stewards for assaulted by Britons who forced entry without tickets or with counterfeit tickets. French Sports Minster Amélie Oudéa-Castéra also overlooked any shortcomings by authorities by claiming thousands of English fans “complicated the work of stewards and police forces” and tweeting: “Violence has no place in the stadiums.”
Liverpool said it was “hugely disappointed” with the security issues experienced by its fans.
Angry Liverpool fans held in the lines were seen hanging onto railings and heard shouting: “Let us in. We’ve got tickets.”
There were many instances of fans breaking through security and attempting to get into the stadium. The Associated Press saw two fans — one was wearing Liverpool attire — wrestled to the ground by stewards and bundled out of the gates.
Three more fans were seen evading stewards and sprinting through the concourse and into the bottom level of the stadium. Other people, wearing no obvious club attire, climbed the fences instead as Liverpool fans shouted at them to get down.
The final kicked off despite fans still trying to get through ticket checks. Fresh rounds of tear gas were fired by riot police from inside the security perimeter at people outside the fences. Police and stewards were seen falling to the ground, impacted by the eye-irritating substances.
There was anger in the Liverpool squad after losing the final.
“Pretty much all of our families were affected, I think,” Liverpool defender Andy Robertson said. “Obviously my tickets were through the club and somehow somebody told one of my mates that he’s got a fake ticket which I can assure you definitely wasn’t because it was obviously through me.
“So then obviously the French police decided to throw tear gas on fans and families. It’s not been well-organized.”
Merseyside Police, the force covering Liverpool, tweeted that the “behavior of the fans at the turnstiles was exemplary in shocking circumstances.”
Supporter Colm Lacey saw “children crying, people trapped” outside the entrances.
“People started jumping the queue, then they ripped the gate open and then there was a push,” Lacey said.
About 15 minutes before the scheduled kickoff of 9 p.m. local time, an announcement was made that there would be a delay, blaming the late arrival of fans to the stadium. It was greeted by jeers inside the stadium, given those fans had already endured long queues. The game eventually started at 9.37 p.m.
“We’ve been stood at this gate since 6:15,” Liverpool fan Angela Murphy told the AP through a fence. “I’ve got really bad asthma and I’ve been tear gassed twice. I’m really struggling.”
Asked what provoked the tear gassing, Murphy replied: “Nothing, we’re stood here. There was nothing. It’s just been horrendous. We have been well behaved.”
Police officers with batons and riot shields ran from gate to gate to prevent pockets of fans forcing their way into the stadium without showing tickets. One policeman collapsed to the ground and had to be helped by other officers. Officers used tear gas on Liverpool fans on repeated occasions.
One Liverpool fan kissed his ticket and looked to the sky after finally getting through security.
Liverpool supporter Joe Moorcroft complained about being treated like animals.
“It’s a disgrace. We’ve seen this before, it’s a risk to health,” he said. “We’ve seen this and it’s going to happen all again. I feel it now. They threw tear gas in the fans.”
UEFA said it was “sympathetic to those affected” and it announced an urgent review by French police and authorities along with the French Football Federation.
“In the lead-up to the game, the turnstiles at the Liverpool end became blocked by thousands of fans who purchased fake tickets which did not work in the turnstiles,” UEFA said in a statement.
“This created a buildup of fans trying to get in. As a result, the kickoff was delayed by 35 minutes to allow as many fans as possible with genuine tickets to gain access. As numbers outside the stadium continued to build up after kickoff, the police dispersed them with tear gas and forced them away from the stadium.”
Liverpool wants a formal investigation.
“We are hugely disappointed at the stadium entry issues and breakdown of the security perimeter that Liverpool fans faced,” the club said in a statement. “This is the greatest match in European football and supporters should not have to experience the scenes we have witnessed tonight.”
The scenes were reminiscent of the chaos outside Wembley Stadium before the European Championship final last year. That was largely due to England fans aggressively trying to get into their home stadium for the game that Italy won.
Canada Betting in 2022; What to Expect? The Latest News
Canadian sports fans can breathe a sigh of relief thanks to Bill C-218, which was passed in August 2021. The additional legislation to the Criminal Code decriminalizes single-event sports betting, marking a new era for sports betting fans in the region. So if you’d like to wager on a single event you’re following, you can. The single-game wager options currently available to Canadian sports fans include:
- In-game wagers on leading events
- Wagers on various fantasy sports
- eSports wagers
- Wagers on novelty events
Reasons for the Shift in Gambling Laws
As witnessed with most North American states over the past few years, legalizing sports betting options has its benefits. So as US legislators worked on ways to accommodate their sports fans’ needs, they also pushed Canadian legislators to do the same. Thus, helping them take steps towards joining the billion-dollar iGaming industry.
For starters, legalizing online sports gambling means lawmakers in the region can set parameters to guarantee their residents’ safety while they’re on betting sites in Canada. These include measures like vetting possible operators’ services and regulating the market’s various offerings. In turn, bettors don’t need to rely on unverified sites to enjoy themselves. So, the government gets to keep all the revenue generated from its residents’ gambling activities.
The revenue collected can then go towards various developmental projects to improve the same residents’ lives. So it’s a win-win for everyone involved. Regulating the market also ensures the adherence to responsible gambling measures to reduce the risks associated with online gambling. Operators would follow the rules to stay in business, while sports fans will do what’s necessary to continue enjoying unrestricted sports gambling activities.
Canadian Regulations and Legal Operators by Province
Before Bill C-218 got passed, online bettors in Canada could only make parlay bets. These are a group of bets that rely on each other’s outcome to reward payouts. It makes it tricky to wager, especially if you only know about one of the events available to bet on.
To make a parlay wager, you need to bet on a minimum of two games on one slip. If your predictions for the two events are correct, then you win the wager. But if one loses and the other is successful, you lose the entire bet. But with the passing of Bill C-218, you only need to bet on the events you’d like to, even if it’s just one game per slip.
The types of sports wagers available and where you can make them in Canada depends on where you reside. Canada has ten provinces and three territories, each deciding what they’ll offer their sports betting fans. Here is a breakdown of what you can expect from the various locations in 2022.
BC has been offering retail and online sports betting options for years. But it was one of the first provinces to take action after the passing of Bill C-218 in 2021. So its residents can now enjoy single-game wagers on their favorite games online. You need to have reached a minimum of 19 years to access online gambling options.
PlayNow is the legally licensed platform offering these options. It’s run by the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC). Through this site, you can also make mobile bets through your smartphone or tablet. But for the mobile version to work, you must have geolocation apps installed to verify where you’re accessing the site from.
Like British Columbia, Manitoba has been offering retail and online gambling for years. It’s currently able to offer single-game bets through PlayNow under the management of the Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Corporation (MBLL).
Residents of this province can also access sports betting options offered by offshore operators. That means you have the option to also gamble on mobile.
Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick
Also known as the Atlantic Provinces, these four locations all offer retail and online sports gambling activities to their residents. While Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick started offering online variations in 2021, Nova Scotia joined the fold in February 2022.
All four destinations have their online activities managed by the Atlantic Lottery Corporation (ALC). These can be accessed on PRO•LINE Stadium, the only sportsbook available locally to residents in the four regions.
Sports betting in this province is overseen by the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SIGA). Residents can make in-person bets on Sport Select through participating retailers found at gas stations and convenience stores. But soon, online gambling options could become a reality. In June 2022, the SIGA signed an agreement with the BCLC to make PlayNow a legal online platform for its residents.
But while residents wait for this to become a reality, they can access offshore betting sites accepting Canadian bettors.
Ontario makes up the country’s largest sports betting market. Residents can make their sports wagers at retail and online bookmakers through platforms like PRO•LINE Stadium which is managed by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp.
Besides that, bettors in this state can also make wagers on platforms like FanDuel, DraftKings, theScore Bet, BetRivers, and PointsBet Canada. These are among the 25 sportsbooks (40 operators) licensed by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO). So, all offerings on these sites are legal for Ontario residents.
Quebec residents can enjoy online sports betting options through Mise-o-jeu+, which allows desktop and mobile gambling through its app. For in-person wagers, there’s Mise-o-jeu. Both these gambling options are managed by Loto-Quebec. Through them, you can also enjoy live betting on leading events, a rare offering in Canada.
Residents are hopeful that since the region has several casino gambling halls, it’ll soon add sports betting halls as well for its residents.
Alberta, Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories, Manitoba, Yukon, and the Nunavut
These locations are referred to as the Prairie Provinces. Bettors in each of these areas have been able to access a vast gambling selection on PlayAlberta.ca since September 2021. The platform is licensed by the Alberta Gaming, Liquor, and Cannabis (AGLC).
For retail options, Prairie Province residents turn to Sport Select. This gambling option is run by the Western Canada Lottery Corporation (WCLC). There are also talks to add PointsBet Canada as one of the sportsbooks residents can access for the online betting options.
2022 NBA Draft: Toronto Raptors select Christian Koloko with 33rd pick in 2022 NBA Draft – RaptorsHQ
The Raptors only had the one pick tonight; they traded their first-round pick to the San Antonio Spurs for Thaddeus Young at last season’s trade deadline. There were several strong candidates remaining at 33, but Koloko seems like a strong fit for the Raptors.
For one, he’s big — like, an actual big. He’s 7’1”! The Raptors leaned into length last year, but this is a whole ‘other story: he’s got a 7’5.25” wingspan!
By all accounts, Koloko is an athletic shot blocker, rim-runner and dunker; he can shoot a little, but not from range (yet); he’s a high-energy player.
That all sounds appealing! Well, OK, maybe not the “can’t shoot from distance part,” but hey, that’s what the NBA G League is for!
Koloko played three seasons in Arizona, and averaged 12.6 points, 7.3 rebounds, and an insane 2.8 blocks in 25 minutes per game for the Wildcats last season. He also shot the ball well from the floor and the line (63.5% and 73.5%, respectively) but again, nothing from deep.
He’s also from Doula, Cameroon — Pascal Siakam’s hometown! Also like Siakam, he picked up hoops later in life, so he’s still raw — a real unfinished product.
Size, quickness, shot-blocking, energy. What more can you want? (Oh, yeah. Shooting.) Well, we can’t have it all, right?
Our draft expert JD Quirante will have a full breakdown of Koloko’s game and fit with the Raptors tomorrow.
Colorado Avalanche Looking to Close Out Stanley Cup Final – VOCM
The biggest game of Alex Newhook’s young career is taking place tonight as the Colorado Avalanche look to win the Stanley Cup.
The Avalanche won game four against the Tampa Bay Lightning Wednesday night, securing a 3-1 series lead against the defending two-time Stanley Cup champions.
A win tonight would give the Avalanche their first cup since 2001, and bring the cup back to Newfoundland and Labrador with St. John’s native Newhook.
The game gets underway tonight at 9:30 island time.
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