Real Madrid demand answers for Champions League final chaos that left fans ‘helpless and defenceless’

·3-min read
Real Madrid demand answers for Champions League final chaos that left fans ‘helpless and defenceless’

Real Madrid have joined Liverpool in calling for answers from Uefa and the French authorities following the ugly scenes that marred last weekend’s Champions League final in Paris.

Issuing an official statement on Friday, Los Blancos demanded explanations for the chaos that ensued outside the Stade de France on Saturday night, insisting that their supporters were also victims of the “unfortunate events that have caused deep outrage around the world” and were left “helpless and defenceless”.

Madrid are demanding to know the rationale behind the choice of final venue, which was switched from the Gazprom Arena in Saint Petersburg at late notice in February following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Their statement continued: “We understand that what should have been a great celebration of football for all the fans who attended the game turned into unfortunate events that have caused deep outrage around the world.

“As has been clearly seen in the revealing images offered by the media, many of the fans were violently assaulted, harassed and robbed. Some events that also took place when they were driving in their cars or buses fearing for their physical integrity. Some of them even had to spend the night in the hospital for injuries received.

“Football has transmitted to the world an image far removed from the values ​​and objectives that it must always pursue.

“Our followers and fans deserve a response and that the relevant responsibilities be cleared up so that situations like the ones experienced are eradicated forever from football and sport.”

On Thursday, Liverpool CEO Billy Hogan reiterated the club’s demands for a full investigation into the events that transpired in Paris before, during and after Real Madrid’s 1-0 victory that was delayed by 36 minutes, with fans subjected to dangerous bottle-necks, closed gates and long queues, with riot police using tear gas and pepper spray on crowds that included women, children and disabled supporters.

“We at Liverpool have been calling for an investigation into what happened in Paris on Saturday, not a report,” Hogan said.

“I think those are two very different things. We’ve written to UEFA again today and we’ve raised specific questions ... that we’d like them to clarify around the details of this investigation.

“We just feel it’s incredibly important that we get this investigation going, frankly that we get it launched immediately and that there are clear specifics around the process and how it’s going to work.”

He added: “I spoke to my counterpart at Real Madrid yesterday, who made it clear that their fans also had issues. They had major concerns with the matchday operation, including the policing operation around the match.

“My understanding is that Real Madrid are going to be putting some details out across their channels about this as well.

“The pain, the grief, the harm, the hurt ... and now to be told by a French minister that only Liverpool fans have been a problem, it’s just disgraceful. Real Madrid have made it clear their fans suffered as well.”

France have blamed “industrial-scale” ticket fraud for the disorder that occurred in Paris, with interior minister Gerald Darmanin claiming that the main reason for the chaos was between 30,000-40,000 fans showing up outside the ground without tickets or holding fake tickets, as well as local youths trying to force their way in. Many claims from French ministers have been heavily disputed and challenged by those present on the night.

Uefa have commissioned an independent report into the events outside the Stade de France, while the French sports ministry are also due to release a summary report inside 10 days. Uefa are also compensating 2,700 fans who held valid tickets but did not get to see the match.

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