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Laporta blames Barcelona fans for Europa League ticket fiasco

‘The club is not to blame for what happened’

FC Barcelona v Sevilla FC - La Liga Santander Photo by Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Barcelona president Joan Laporta held a press conference on Tuesday to discuss the ticketing shambles that occurred during the team’s Europa League defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt.

Estimates reckon that around 30,000 visiting fans were able to get into the Camp Nou for the match and see their team win 3-2 to progress to the semi-finals.

Laporta said the club is not to blame for what happened, pointed the finger at the previous board and explained how Barca will try to stop such an issue occurring again.

“The club is not to blame for what happened against Eintracht, but it is responsible,” he said.

“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.”

The Barcelona president was also critical of socios for selling their tickets to the game which ended up in the hands of visiting supporters.

“A group of members misused their season tickets, which they ceded to German fans,” he added. “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 will look into possibly taking action.

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

Source | ESPN

The ticketing shambles led to fan protests inside and outside the Camp Nou on Monday for the visit of Cadiz. Barca’s next game is away from home at Real Sociedad on Thursday.