Paris readies for Liverpool fan invasion

Paris (AFP) – Around 7,000 police will be on duty to marshal fans during Saturday’s Champions League final where as many as 40,000 ticketless Liverpool supporters are expected, authorities said on Thursday.

The match between Liverpool and Real Madrid was originally scheduled to be played in Saint Petersburg but the French capital stepped in when UEFA stripped the Russian city of the match following the invasion of Ukraine.

Only around 20,000 supporters each from Liverpool and Real are officially able to watch the eagerly awaited match at the Stade de France.

The Paris city authorities have prepared a vast fan zone for up to 45,000 Liverpool supporters along the Cours de Vincennes, a major avenue in the east of Paris, 10 kilometres (six miles) from the stadium.

“It’s to make sure things go as well as they can,” explained Paris deputy mayor Emmanuel Gregoire.

A second fan park in the northern suburb of Saint-Denis where the Stade de France is located is reserved for Real Madrid supporters with tickets ahead of the game.

That fan zone will then be open to local fans after the Real supporters have moved on to the stadium.

No alcohol will be allowed in the area around the Stade de France but fans will be allowed to drink during the game inside the stadium itself.

The Champs-Elysees avenue, one of Paris’ most-visited tourist areas, will be closed to both English and Spanish fans during the afternoon of the game and no drinking will be allowed this weekend at either of the city’s two major airports.