Around 3,000 Barcelona members have been suspended over their part in a €1.5m (£1.3m/$1.8m) fake ticket scam at this month’s El Clasico match with Real Madrid.

120 club employees were involved in an investigation that ultimately identified and seized 2,823 fraudulent season tickets – almost 4% of the total tickets sold for the game.

The club said most of these season tickets ended up in the hands of tourists with high purchasing power since the prices paid for these tickets were exorbitant.

The club allowed the fake ticket holders to enter the stadium for the May 6 game to avoid confrontations.

Barcelona have now provisionally suspended the members involved, with the season tickets withdrawn to be offered to members on the waiting list.

“We’re talking about a massive, organised, articulated and very sophisticated case,” said Barcelona spokesman Josep Vives at a press conference on Monday.

“It is the largest and most forceful action against fraud and resale that has been carried out.

“They are counterfeit entries based on a subscription with sophisticated means and methods to do something like that.”

IMAGE: Ayman.antar7