A French politician has written a letter to a Liverpool supporters’ group, saying that he “bitterly regrets” fans were “singled out for criticism” after the chaos before the Champions League final.
Ahead of the showpiece tie against Real Madrid at the Stade de France in Paris on Saturday, thousands of Liverpool fans struggled to get into the stadium, with French officials and UEFA initially blaming supporters with fake tickets for the chaos.
During the mayhem of fans trying to get into the stadium, some were tear gassed or pepper sprayed by police, while many others either missed the match or did not take their seats until half-time.
Richard Bouigue, who is deputy mayor of the 12th arrondissement in Paris, said in a letter to supporters’ group Spirit Of Shankly: “The time for official denial is over, the time for apologies must be imposed.
“I deplore the dysfunctions in the organisation of the game and the lack of maintenance of order that led to this real fiasco.”
He is the first French politician or official to apologise to Liverpool fans publicly.
Mr Bouigue also said the fan zone in his district “went well” despite the site being selected at late notice “without consultation with local elected officials”.
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“All light must be shed, the responsibilities identified and improvements made so that this type of chaos, which must have revived the Hillsborough tragedy for many fans, never happen again,” he added.
Real Madrid won the match 1-0 but the result was marred by the incidents outside the stadium and organisers have drawn criticism for their response.
France’s interior minister Gerald Darmanin blamed “fraud on an industrial scale” for the events in Paris and expressed his “regret” for the disorganisation of the event.
While Liverpool Football Club, supporter groups and MPs have demanded an apology from authorities.
On Tuesday evening, UEFA announced they have ordered an independent investigation into the scenes.
Read more:What actually happened at the Stade de France?French police were heavy-handed with absolutely zero tolerance, says Sky Sports News chief reporter
‘It was a pretty big mess’
Real Madrid full-back Dani Carvajal has also spoken out and said his family encountered safety issues before the game.
“It was a pretty big mess,” he said. “They have to learn and fix the mistakes for the next events that may happen at this stadium and hopefully everything will be better.
“But yes, in the end there were people who suffered a lot.”
Over 5,000 Liverpool fans submitted their account of the scenes in Paris to the club, according to chief executive Billy Hogan.
The club asked fans to respond to a survey about the incidents outside the stadium and Mr Hogan hailed the “astounding” response.
He has called on UEFA to include the testimonies from supporters in the review, adding: “I’m horrified by the way some men, women, children – some able-bodied, some less able-bodied – have been indiscriminately treated over the course of Saturday.”
Source : Sky News