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French authorities urged to deploy blockchain tix following Champions League fiasco

The French Government’s Olympics envoy has recommended the widespread deployment of blockchain ticketing and other enhanced security protocols in the aftermath of last month’s UEFA Champions League final in Paris.

Michel Cadot submitted his 30-page report to the Prime Minister’s Office late last week after widespread condemnation of the French authorities’ organisation of the game between Liverpool and Read Madrid at the Stade De France.

Cadot, whose role is to connect the various public and private parties responsible for delivering the Paris 2024 Olympic Games and next year’s Rugby World Cup, said there was a lack of evidence that large-scale ticket fraud was the major factor that caused problems at the stadium. While Cadot did find that additional members of the public without tickets or with fake ones contributed towards overcrowding and a delay in entry to the venue, he also found that transport, signage and security were inadequate.

Among five recommendations at the end of his report, Cadot said that secure and personalised ticketing that will be utilised for Paris 2024 should be introduced at all major international sporting events held in France.

This would include the total dematerialisation of non-transferable tickets, transmitted by the organiser only a few days before by SMS messaging and comprising a rotating QR code using blockchain technology. These would be active only within a virtual perimeter and corresponding to the security perimeter of the site, which can first be checked during pre-filtering then deactivated once the visitor has entered the venue site.

The personalisation of tickets could also allow ticket holders to receive messages interactively via digital channels relating to matters such as transport, security and entry to the venue.

“These provisions are already planned for the 2023 Rugby World Cup and the Olympics and Paralympics 2024 and practiced by major events such as the French International Tennis,” Cadot wrote.

Among his recommendations, Cadot also urged the creation of a national committee to pilot major international sporting events. This would, he wrote, “bridge the gap between the international dimension and local management”.

He added: “This coordination, applied to other Major International Sporting Events of major importance upstream of the cut of the Rugby World Cup and the 2024 Olympic Games, would make it possible to prefigure the planned systems and to break in the working methods, as well as the reflexes of multi-actor management to face difficulties.”

Image: Guilhem Vellut/CC BY 2.0/Edited for size