Britain has called on European football’s governing body to launch a formal investigation after the Champions League final following reports that French police used tear gas and violence against British fans in Paris.
Saturday’s match between Liverpool and Real Madrid at the Stade de France was postponed for 35 minutes as French authorities struggled to manage crowds outside the stadium.
Witnesses described long lines of people waiting to enter the stadium, as well as the use of tear gas and pepper spray by police. The French government and European football governing body UEFA have accused Liverpool fans of misconduct.
Culture Minister Nadine Dorries described “the footage and narratives of Liverpool fans” as “disturbing”, adding that “understanding what happened and learning from Saturday’s events is in line with” the interests of each participant”.
“I urge UEFA, in coordination with stadium staff, the French police, the French Football Federation, Merseyside Police and Liverpool FC, to launch a formal investigation into what is wrong and why,” she said. -0 wins.
Meanwhile, Northern Ireland Secretary of State Brandon Lewis questioned the actions of the French authorities. “It’s worrying that people are either not going into the stadium or are being treated in the same way some of them seem to be being treated in a very aggressive manner,” he told Sky News.
UEFA said it would “urgently” “review” the situation with French authorities. “The gates at the Liverpool end were blocked by thousands of fans buying fake tickets before the game, which did not work in the gates,” it said in a statement. statement.
“This created a gathering of fans trying to get in. As a result, kick-off was delayed 35 minutes to allow as many fans as possible to enter with real tickets. The number of people outside the stadium continued to increase after kick-off and police used tear gas to disperse took them out and forced them to leave the stadium.”
French Interior Minister Gerald Dalmanin has accused “thousands” of British fans of trying to break into the stadium without tickets or forged ones. He thanked the French police for their work; the interior ministry said 105 people were arrested that night.
However, Chris GreenThe Assistant Commissioner of Police for Merseyside Police – whose unit is deployed in Paris in an “observing and advisory capacity” – tweeted that the “vast majority of fans behaved in an exemplary manner” and that witnesses “The distressing scene”.
In a statement issued on Saturday night, Liverpool said it was “deeply disappointed by the access issues Liverpool fans are facing at the stadium and the breach of security borders . . . supporters should not have gone through what we witnessed tonight”. The club has called for a formal investigation.
Liverpool Mayor Joanne Anderson, Say She will write to Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, asking UEFA to “answer” and to be investigated by French President Emmanuel Macron.
Her appeal was echoed by Liverpool MP Ian Byrne, who was at the match, who said only two of the 13 turnstiles were open where he entered. “I’ve never seen such a harsh environment,” he said. “From the beginning, the police, the security, everything was terrible.”
The French government and police have also faced criticism from both ends of the domestic political spectrum.
Far-right leader Marine Le Pen has called it a “disgrace” for France as it prepares to host the 2024 Summer Olympics. She accused the Home Office of lying about who caused the trouble and blamed “traditional thugs from the suburbs” rather than British fans.
Jean-Luc Melenchon, leader of the left-wing coalition in France’s upcoming parliamentary elections, said the incidents represented a “complete failure” by French police, which he accused of exacerbating the situation.