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A leading Liverpool supporters’ group has called for a full public apology from the French government, after a Senate report found Reds fans were blamed for the chaos at last season’s Champions League final in order to “divert attention” away from organisational failings.
Kick-off for Liverpool’s final defeat to Real Madrid was delayed by more than half-an-hour as supporters were caught up in troubling scenes outside the State de France in Paris.
Some described crushes that brought back memories of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, while police used tear gas in a bid to disperse crowds that had built up at various bottlenecks where security officers were conducting additional ticket checks.
France’s interior minister, Gerald Darmanin, initially laid the blame for the delays at the door of ticketless Liverpool supporters, but a Senate report which heard accounts from Reds fans, along with French police and government officials and UEFA’s events director, Martin Kallen, refuted that theory.
The report read: “It is unfair to have wanted to make supporters of the Liverpool team bear the responsibility for the disturbances that occurred, as the Minister of the Interior did to divert attention from the inability of the state to adequately manage the crowds present and to curb the action of several hundred violent and co-ordinated offenders.”
The damning report is of serious concern to authorities in France, who are preparing to host next year’s Rugby World Cup, as well as the 2024 Olympics.
Liverpool’s Spirit of Shankly supporters’ group welcomed the report’s findings but added: “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.”