Barcelona president Joan Laporta has reiterated the fact that while the club wasn’t to blame for the ticket issues against Eintracht Frankfurt, they are responsible and still remain so. He also added that the Frankfurt fans were allowed in by season ticket holders and a tour operator.
With Barcelona facing Eintracht Frankfurt in the quarter-final of the Europa League, the two teams went into the second leg at the Camp Nou level at 1-1 after the first leg. However, things changed in Catalonia as the German side swept Xavi Hernandez’s team aside and walked away as 3-2 winners on the night, winning the tie 4-3 on aggregate. But the bigger controversy, after the game, was the fact that nearly 30,000 visiting fans managed to get access to the stadium despite only 5000 official tickets allocated.
It helped turn the atmosphere in favour of Frankfurt with many home fans and seasoned Cule’s beyond upset at the situation. So much so, that fan groups boycotted the Monday game against Cadiz but Joan Laporta has reiterated the fact that while the club aren’t to blame for the situation, they were responsible because of the ticketing system. He also added that they’ve changed things around and thus taken measures to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
"The club is not to blame for what happened against Eintracht, but it is responsible. 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," Laporta told reporters at a news conference.
"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 also revealed that a group of season ticket holders were part of the entire issue as they ceded their tickets to German fans and allowed them to enter. He also revealed that many purchased tickets via a discount code as well and that they also “detected malpractice from a tour operator”.
"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,” he added.