Thousands of Liverpool fans were involved in chaotic scenes ahead of kick-off at the Stade de France, with the gates to the stadium locked as police used tear gas against them
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Merseyside Police have praised the behavior of Liverpool fans during the “shocking circumstances” they endured ahead of Saturday night’s Champions League final in Paris.
The Reds were defeated by Real Madrid in the Champions League final but the showpiece event was marred by pre-match chaos when police used tear gas on fans as kick-off time was delayed by 36 minutes. Thousands of fans could not enter the stadium. A number of fans began tweeting in the hour before kick-off that huge queues meant they could not set foot on the ground, while a BBC journalist was among those pepper-sprayed by police.
The long queues formed shortly after the Liverpool team bus ran into traffic. The Liverpool end was noticeably sketchy with less than half an hour to go before kick-off as supporters struggled to get in with several fans trapped in the queues sharing photos of the stadium’s locked gates, with the streets bottlenecked by built up fans . This happened despite thousands of fans queuing for hours but still unable to get on the ground before kick-off.
Merseyside Police matchday officers tweeted that it was “the worst European game I have ever played or witnessed”. They added: “I found the behavior of fans at the turnstiles in shocking circumstances exemplary. They weren’t 100% late.”
This was followed by a statement from Liverpool, which read: “We are extremely disappointed by the stadium access issues and security perimeter collapse faced by Liverpool fans at the Stade de France tonight.
“This is the biggest match in European football and the fans should not have to live through the scenes we witnessed tonight. We have officially requested a formal investigation into the causes of these unacceptable problems.”
Liverpool legend and former manager Sir Kenny Dalglish tweeted after the game: “Liverpool fans are special. The way they were treated by the authorities was an absolute joke. Nobody should ever be afraid to go to a football game. Thank you to everyone who came to Paris. The fan park was incredible. I hope you all get home safely. What a season! YNWA”
Blaming “the fans’ late arrival at the stadium”, European football’s governing body UEFA said after the game that they “sympathize with those affected by these events and will urgently investigate this matter further, together with the French police and authorities with the.” French Football Federation.
“In the run-up to the game, the turnstiles at the Liverpool end were blocked by thousands of fans who had bought fake tickets that didn’t work in the turnstiles.”
They added: “This led to a conglomeration of fans trying to get in. As a result, kick-off was delayed by 35 minutes to allow access for as many fans as possible with real tickets. As the numbers continued outside the stadium to build up after kick-off, the police dispersed them with tear gas and forced them out of the stadium.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/liverpool-fans-champions-league-final-27093887 Merseyside Police praise the behavior of Liverpool fans in 'shocking circumstances' in Paris