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Liverpool fans ‘unfairly blamed’ for Champions League final chaos

Liverpool fans were ‘unfairly blamed’ foe the chaos that occurred before the Champions League final, a report has found.

French authorities and Uefa blamed late arrivals and fraudulent tickets for the scenes outside the Stade de France before the Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid in May, which resulted in a 35-minute delay to the game and crowd control problems.

 

The response of the French police to the problems caused huge concerns, with images circulating of Liverpool fans, including children and the disabled, being pepper-sprayed when pressed against fences.

The mass queues had been built by a bizarre decision to funnel the Liverpools fans through a narrow passage in an underpass partially-blocked by police vehicles.

The situation led to some fans scaling the fences in an attempt to escape the closures and police treatment, though there were also numbers of locals attempting to get into the final without tickets.

A report commissioned by the French Senate has now found that Liverpool fans had been blamed unfairly for the scenes, with supporters having accused the French authorities of shifting the blame for overcrowding, organisational failures, and heavy-handed policing.

The report, as per Sky News, said: “It is unfair to have wanted to make supporters of the Liverpool team bear the responsibility for the disturbances that occurred, as the minister of the interior did to divert attention from the inability of the state to adequately manage the crowds present and to curb the action of several hundred violent and co-ordinated offenders.”

The report also criticised UEFA’s management of the ticketing system for the final, describing the system as ‘unsuitable’ and found that stewards had not received the adequate training required to deal with the large crowds in Paris.

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