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31st May 2022

Spanish fans recall Champions League final horror stories outside Stade de France

Callum Boyle

Champions League Final

Madrid fans encountered similar problems in Paris

Spanish fans and journalists have recalled their own accounts of the Champions League Final chaos, with their supporters also encountering the same issues as thousands of Liverpool fans.

Real Madrid spoke of the same bottleneck checkpoints on the way up to the stadium with locals creating crushes to pickpocket those outside the Stade de France, while police responded with using pepper spray and tear gas.

Madrid supporters have also claimed that there were no sign of police on the turnstiles, allowing pickpockets and thieves to steal tickets and enter the stadium.

Champions League Final

‘There were moments when they were firing pepper spray towards people’

Gabriel Saez, the president of fitness company GO fit, attended the game with his wife and five children and recalled the dystopian nightmare as they entered the ground.

“We are lucky to be talking about Madrid’s victory and not a tragedy. There were no signs to say where the entrances were,” he told Spanish broadcast service Radio Cope.

“We followed other supporters to the only place you could advance to the stadium. It was a bottleneck and imagine the scene: I have children of eight, 12, 15, 20 and 24 years. In this flood of people I said to my wife, ‘Lets get out of here’, because any sort of trouble in that situation and there would have been deaths.

“But we couldn’t move so we encircled our youngest. There were two police vans making the bottleneck, limiting the space where only five at a time were allowed to pass.

“They frisked you and checked you had a ticket and then let you pass. There were moments when they were firing pepper spray towards people.”

‘The English fans have a bad reputation, but I never saw any problems.’

Champions League Final

Saez then defended the Liverpool fans, who have been continuously blamed by the French government and authorities for the chaos outside of the ground, which led to kick off being delayed by over 30 minutes.

He added: “The English fans have a bad reputation, but I never saw any problems. They were showing a lot of patience. There are a lot of gates to access this stadium.”

Spanish commentator Manolo Lama also praised the behaviour of Liverpool supporters and said that their patience helped to avoid a ‘tragedy.’

“The fortunate thing was that the English fans behaved because if they had not then there would have been a tragedy,” he said.

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