Paris police chief finally apologises for tear gassing Liverpool fans before Champions League final 2 months ago

Paris police chief finally apologises for tear gassing Liverpool fans before Champions League final

'I am fully aware that people acting in good faith, even families, were tear-gassed'

Didier Lallement, the person in charge of policing the Champions League final in Paris, has apologised for using tear gas against Liverpool fans outside the stadium.

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Liverpool supporters were tear-gassed and pepper-sprayed outside the stadium by police ahead of the final between the Reds and Real Madrid at the Stade de France on 28 May.

Lallement offered 'sincere regrets' for the trouble outside the ground, and admitted failures in the security operation. However, he also defended how the police handled the situation, insisting that his "red line" was to save people's lives.

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Lallement apologises for use of tear-gas

French authorities initially blamed late arrivals and fake tickets for overcrowding and terrifying scenes before the match between the two sides.

"It was obviously a failure, because people were pushed around or attacked even though we owed them security," Mr Lallement told the French Senate on Thursday.

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"I am fully aware that people acting in good faith, even families, were tear-gassed," he added. "I am very sorry about that."

He stated that his force was not prepared for dealing with the issues that thousands of fake match tickets caused.

Police chief admits he was wrong about fake tickets claim

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When explaining that tear gas was the 'only means' the police had to get the crowds to move back without charging at the officers, he added: "I think it would have been a mistake to charge at people."

Lallement was also asked why he had stated that they were dealing with 30-40,000 fake tickets, with the police chief admitting that he may have been wrong, however, that was the number he had estimated at the time.

UEFA apologised to fans of both Real Madrid and Liverpool last week for the "frightening and distressing events" they had witnessed. "No football fan should be put in that situation, and it must not happen again," the European football governing body said in a statement.

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