Anger with final police arrest report in Paris links Hillsborough to bullying | Champions League

French authorities deployed riot police in large numbers to the Champions League final in Paris, apparently due to a false association of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster with the riots, according to an official report by the French prime minister.

The report by Michel Cadot, the French sports ministry’s delegate on major sporting events, appears to confirm the assumptions of many of Liverpool’s bleakest fans in the final, that the harsh police they experienced, including exposure to tear gas, were based on bias over their possible behaviour. .

Cadot’s 30-page report, which was delivered on Friday to the office of French Prime Minister Elizabeth Bourne, references Hillsborough in a section on police intelligence ahead of the May 28 final between Liverpool and Real Madrid. The department first admits that Liverpool supporters have not known violence in matches. However, he then continues: “Referring to the Hillsborough tragedy in 1989 – 97 deaths – for which it is their responsibility to [police] It is indicated, however, that a firm conditional arrangement has been put in place, to maintain order in riot gear, in order to be able to respond to the risks of mass phenomena of hooliganism and anarchy, as happened in Marseille on 13 June 2016 during the England-Russia match.”

Bereaved families in Hillsborough responded with anger and dismay at the report’s association of the disaster, in the 1989 FA Cup semi-final, with the hooliganism, revealing that despite all the changes in football in the 33 years since then it appears they were still informing police perceptions and behaviour.

After a 27-year campaign by bereaved families and survivors to establish the truth of how the disaster lawfully occurred, a jury decided in 2016 that 97 victims were unlawfully killed due to the gross negligence of manslaughter by South Yorkshire Police officer in command, Ch Sopt David Dawkinfield.

The jury also determined that there was no rioting, drunkenness, no tickets, or any alleged misconduct by Liverpool supporters that contributed to the disaster.

Louise Brooks, whose brother Andrew, 26, was among 97 people killed, said of the report: “This is a total and outrageous failure to understand the disaster. And this prejudice, that Liverpool supporters are troublemakers, based on a complete misunderstanding of something that happened 33 years ago.” He almost caused another disaster in Paris, for a new generation of Liverpool fans.”

French police inside the Stade de France on the night Real Madrid defeated Liverpool to win the 2021-22 UEFA Champions League. Photo: Harriet Lander/Cuba/Getty Images

Cadot’s report identified multiple crowd-management failures at the Stade de France, where kick-off was postponed for 36 minutes as thousands of fans were stranded in stationary queues and many were subjected to tear gas by French police. However, his report confirms the claim that too many Liverpool fans with fake tickets were a big part of the problem. Bourne reportedly accepted Cado’s recommendations for improvement and demanded that they be implemented without delay.

Steve Rotheram, the mayor of Liverpool, who has experienced chaos in Paris, including being robbed, described the claim as a way for the French government to evade blame and make its supporters scapegoats. Referring to Hillsborough, Rotheram said: “This is described as intelligence but shows a lack of intelligence and confirms our worst fears. The horrific policing and mismanagement of the masses in Paris was based on falsehood, ignorance and prejudice. This once again underscores the need for a full and thorough investigation. and independent.”

Margaret Aspinall, the last head of a family support group in Hillsborough, whose 18-year-old son James was one of 97 people killed in the disaster, called the report a disgrace.

This confirms our worst suspicion that a completely wrong view of what happened in Hillsborough has informed a police force in another country. It shows the power of lies told by policemen in this country, which many people still believe and repeat. Football stadiums and police are safer after the disaster, and all football fans should understand that.”

The French Ministry of Sports, which ordered the report to be prepared, and the Ministry of the Interior, which is responsible for maintaining security, were contacted for comment.

A UEFA spokesman said the organization could not comment on an official French government report. However, the source insisted that UEFA staff were well aware of the truth about Hillsborough, and had no role in providing such signals to the police as intelligence.

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