Liverpool fans blameless says report despite French MP and police chiefs "lies"

Liverpool supporters were "unfairly" blamed for the security fiasco at the Champions League final in Paris, an official report has found.

The French government had blamed supporters and fake tickets for chaos in Paris in the lead-up to Liverpool's match with Real Madrid in May. But an inquiry has concluded the problems arose through a series of organisational errors and failings rather than anything Reds fans did.

Fans were teargassed and robbed, and now a French Senate report has found they were unfairly blamed by the authorities afterwards. The report – titled Champions League Final: An Unavoidable Fiasco – was led by two Senate committees, who investigated precisely why the night turned out like it did.

READ MORE: French cop finally admits claim Liverpool fans had 40,000 fake CL tickets was 'a mistake

They gathered evidence from Liverpool club and fan representatives – as well as French officials. And despite vital CCTV footage being wiped a week after the incident because no request had been made to save it, the investigation concluded that the claims of French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, who maintained Liverpool fans were largely to blame, were baseless.

Darmanin had complained 30,000-40,000 Liverpool fans had arrived at the stadium either with no tickets at all or with forgeries. Uefa made clear there had actually been 2,700 fake tickets on the night.

The report said: "It is unfair to have sought to blame supporters of the Liverpool team for the disturbances, as the interior minister has done, to deflect attention from the state's inability to properly manage the crowd and suppress the action of several hundred violent and organised delinquents." It also found the use of tear gas by police on fans had been "particularly aggressive".

Darmanin and Paris Police Chief Didier Lallement both cited the behaviour of Liverpool fans as a key factor in the chaos that engulfed the Champions League final. Senators concluded blaming fans was an "injustice" and questions were raised about sanctions for those who had "lied" in their version of events.

Following the conclusion of the report, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer called for an apology. He said: "Every football supporter should be safe when they go to games. I'm glad the French Senate report clearly removes any question of blame on Liverpool supporters. But the French Government must also accept these findings and offer a full apology."

Meanwhile, Liverpool supporters group Spirit of Shankly published a statement. "Spirit of Shankly would like to thank the Senate both for welcoming the testimonies of fans and consequently vindicating them from any responsibility," it read. "However, there remains the issue of lies being persistently repeated."

"We want a full apology from the French Government with a complete retraction of the lies purported on their behalf on and since 28 May 2022, and will continue to lobby to achieve it. We also believe only a full French Parliamentary inquiry, with witnesses testifying under oath, will bring truth and justice and will continue to lobby to achieve it."

Liverpool fans told the BBC the problems were caused by digital tickets not working at the turnstiles at the Stade de France, resulting in bottlenecks as supporters arrived. Supporters were tear-gassed outside the ground, and some were even robbed and assaulted by locals.

Laurent Lafon, one of the inquiry's two chairmen, said: "Everyone went their own way without there being any real coordination."


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