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10th Jun 2022

‘Operational failures to blame’, not Liverpool fans, for Champions League final chaos

Callum Boyle

Liverpool fans

The report was commissioned by the French Prime Minister

A report – which had been commissioned by the Prime Minister of France – has concluded that “operational failures” were the cause of the chaos that ensued on the night of the Champions League final.

The 30-page document, which was released on Friday, highlighted the issues with crowd management, a lack of information for supporters on entry points and the failure to act on warning signs that there were “malicious individuals who came in large numbers to commit acts of delinquency’ as the main contributing factors that led to ‘a climate of tension.”

Liverpool fans

French government and police have repeatedly pinned the blame on Liverpool fans

Kick-off at the Stade de France Stadium was delayed twice as thousands of Liverpool supporters were left with no way of getting into the ground and were met with heavy-handed tactics from the French police, including the use of tear gas and pepper spray.

Inquests into what had happened saw Liverpool fans repeatedly blamed by the French government and police who outlandishly claimed that ’30-40,000′ Reds supporters turned up with counterfeit tickets.

The allegations were met with enormous backlash and in particular those on Merseyside – where as many as 9,000 accounts of what happened have been sent to Anfield.

Liverpool themselves have launched their own full investigation into the chaos that occurred and the report commissioned by French prime minister Elisabeth Borne will put pressure on the French government to apologise.

French officials have largely still continued to back up their cases, with police chief Didier Lallement standing by their decision to use tear gas on fans.

“I’m fully aware people of good faith were gassed, even families,” he said.

“I’m sorry but there were no other means. The only way was to gas people. I asked for gas to be used.”

Liverpool fans

CCTV footage of the events were destroyed, says Erwan Le Prevost

It follows after recent reports that crucial CCTV footage of the events that unfolded in Paris on May 28 had been destroyed according to Erwan Le Prevost, director of international relations at the French Football Federation.

“The images are available for seven days. They are then automatically destroyed,” Le Prevost explained.

“We needed a requisition to provide them to the different populations. The images are extremely violent.”

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