French police have finally apologized for “attacking” Liverpool fans and teargassing them in last month’s Champions League final in Paris. Reds fans queued for hours at the Stade de France to watch their team’s clash with Real Madrid and were exposed to horrific scenes outside the stadium.
Paris police chief, Didier Lalman, addressed the French Senate on Thursday to discuss the actions of his police force. He admitted that his officers were wrong. “It’s clearly a failure,” Lallment said. “It was a failure because people were pushed and attacked. It was a failure because the image of the country was undermined.”
Lamentte had earlier claimed that 40,000 Liverpool fans tried to enter the Champions League final with fake tickets. But he has now admitted that there is no scientific evidence to support his comments.
“The figure has no scientific merit, but it came from reactions from the police and public transport officials,” Lallment added. “Maybe I was wrong, but it was built from all the information that was obtained.
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“Whether there were 30,000 or 40,000 people, it doesn’t change anything. The point is that there were people, in great numbers, who were likely to disrupt the proper regulation of filtering. But if we calculate them accurately to the order of 5,000, it doesn’t change much.”
France’s Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin also previously insisted that much of the blame rests with Liverpool fans, noting that 30,000 to 40,000 people arrived without original tickets leading to a crowded crowd.
An independent review of the Champions League final is now set, and Liverpool chiefs are eager to get answers about the brutality of the French police and why their fans have been treated so badly. Officials from Anfield are set to meet the review chair because they want to be satisfied with the process, which will be completely independent.
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The European Football Association (UEFA) has appointed Portuguese politician Dr Thiago Brandao Rodriguez to oversee the review. But there have been suggestions that he has links to UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin. The Reds also want answers to the 13 questions they sent to UEFA.
“We are deeply disappointed by the problems entering the stadium and the breakdown of the security perimeter that Liverpool fans faced this evening at the Stade de France,” Liverpool wrote in a statement on the day of the Champions League final. “This is the greatest match in European football and fans should not have to experience the scenes we witnessed tonight. We have officially requested a formal investigation into the causes of these unacceptable issues.”
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