The Champions League final kick-off was delayed by 35 minutes on Saturday night, with UEFA first suggesting it was due to the "late arrival of fans". But as footage emerged of Liverpool fans outside the Stade de France being subjected to pepper spray and tear gas, it became quickly clear that wasn't the case. As a result of the fan treatment in Paris, Liverpool have demanded a "transparent" investigation into the incidents that occurred. But while many are looking to the French police and UEFA for answers, French minister Amelie Oudea-Castera has accused fans of causing the problems around the venue.
We have found over 30-40 French youths in the C and D blocks of the Stade de France who have stormed the stadium. This is not the fault of Liverpool fans. #bbcnews #bbcfootball#championsleague @liverpoolfc pic.twitter.com/NWlxrWLlZ4
— Dr Sach Mohan (@SachMohan) May 28, 2022
"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. "A certain number of youths from the nearby area who were present tried to get in by mixing in with the crowd." The organisers of the event were expected to meet with French police at 10:00 BST as investigations get underway, but Liverpool MP Ian Byrne was unhappy with the narrative being painted by French authorities. Byrne, the Labour MP for Liverpool West Derby, attended Saturday's match and said he hadn't witnessed such chaotic scenes since the tragedy at Hillsborough in 1989. He has since written a letter to Foreign Secretary Liz Truss which includes seven demands, one of which is a sincere apology from both UEFA and the police.
🗣️ "That was terrifying."
Liverpool fans in Paris explain what has been happening outside the Stade de France. pic.twitter.com/YN88H6tEFR
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) May 28, 2022
Byrne's letter read: "The French authorities and UEFA are quite simply covering their own backs with this narrative. "As a Liverpool fan, I was in Paris for the match and I can honestly say that the situation outside the ground was one of the most horrendous experiences of my life - and as a Hillsborough survivor, I do not make this comment lightly."
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