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French sports minister blames Liverpool fans for Champions League final chaos

  • Sports

France’s sports minister, Amelie Oudea-Castera, has blamed ticketless Liverpool fans for the shocking scenes outside the Stade de France in the run-up to the Champions League final on Saturday night.

The match between Liverpool and Real Madrid in Paris kicked off 36 minutes late after thousands of Reds fans had trouble getting into the stadium, despite seeming to have arrived with plenty of time in hand.

There were extremely distressing scenes outside the ground as fans were held in tight conditions by police and sprayed with tear gas.

“What happened, first of all, was this mass gathering of the British supporters of the Liverpool club, without tickets, or with fake tickets,” said Oudea-Castera when speaking to French radio station RTL on Monday.

“When there are that many people by the entrance to the stadium, there will be people trying to force their way in through the doors of the Stade de France, and a certain number of youths from the nearby area who were present tried to get in by mixing in with the crowd.”

UEFA, the organisers of the entire event, essentially backed up the claims of the sports minister.

The view from England

Ian Byrne, the Labour MP for Liverpool West Derby, was at the game and said he was appalled by what he was seeing outside the stadium.

“We’re back in 1989 territory where the lies and smears about Hillsborough went out really quickly and that narrative was set,” he said.

“When I got into the grounds I was absolutely appalled when I saw the signs saying it was due to the late arrival of fans.

“There were people who had been there three-and-a-half hours who were kettled in, getting pepper-sprayed, tear-gassed – this was a football occasion.”

Liverpool have since called for an official investigation into the events, citing ‘unacceptable issues’ for supporters of their club.

Read Full Story At: Marca