Jordan Henderson has said his friends and family were shocked with anger ahead of the Euro 2020 and Champions League 2022 finals and that after the scenes in Paris in May his father claimed he did not want to revisit such occasions.
Liverpool captain’s England team-mate Eric Dier revealed his family is not attending away games due to abuse, which he described as a “big issue” for the game.
Henderson agrees, citing his personal experience. His wife Rebecca and two young daughters struggled to get to Wembley and out of the mess ahead of the Euro 2020 final against Italy.
And while Liverpool fans were blameless for the problems leading up to the Champions League final, as they struggled to get into the ground, some were tear-gassed by French police and kick-off was postponed, for Henderson’s family it was one another unpleasant experience that should discourage going to such games in the future.
Henderson’s father Brian provided one of the most memorable images after Liverpool won the 2019 Champions League final as he hugged his son.
But reflecting on the 2022 final, the midfielder said: “My dad said he was done with that after the Champions League final. Some of my family got involved, which wasn’t ideal. A lot of the players’ families, I think all of them, were caught outside the stadium. I think it was pretty awful. When I talked to some of my friends and family and my father, it was pretty bad.
“I think if the fans in Paris hadn’t been respectful in the final there could have been a lot more problems, so I think the fans were great.
“It was the authorities and the people around the stadium that didn’t cause and didn’t cause problems. But I suppose as a fan, if you go to a game and you don’t feel comfortable and you feel threatened by some situation, you won’t want to go back. And it really is that simple.
“My family and friends have had some experiences over the past few years that have really shocked them and probably put them off going to future games.
“Hopefully that will change in the near future as the tournament gets closer. But when you see scenes like the European Championship final and the Champions League final, they don’t really want to go into that situation again.”
England fans caused some of the trouble ahead of the Euro 2020 final and although Henderson was protected from it, he later found his family was struggling to get to safety.
He explained: “My wife and children had to try to get in through a side door they didn’t let them in at the beginning and they were trapped.
“She was trying to get the kids away from everything that was happening and eventually I think after about 15 or 20 minutes someone realized she was my wife and she was lucky they let her in because they knew that i it was fast
“But if that person didn’t do it [know her], there could have been trouble. My dad was a bit involved, I think some of the dads of some players like Harry Maguire’s got hurt badly and when people see that and when people are in that situation and they feel threatened or something’s wrong. They were fine, but lucky.
“I think we all know that wasn’t great, that was a bad experience for a lot of people in that final. Then we have Paris, which is probably worse. So I don’t blame anyone who doesn’t want to put themselves in this situation and to be fair there are two completely different reasons but again if it were me I wouldn’t want to put myself in this one Situation.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/jordan-henderson-england-liverpool-fans-b2172147.html Jordan Henderson has expressed concern over recent crowd issues