Police aggression towards Champions League fans raises concerns

Tear gas was used to inflict severe injury on children and the elderly.

Police aggression towards Champions League fans raises concerns

Tear gas was used to inflict severe injury on children and the elderly. Frustrated fans were sprayed with pepper spray. Tickets holders were blamed for delaying kickoff after they spent hours trying to get into the stadium through bottlenecks and tight spaces.

Liverpool supporters are defending themselves against French authorities' accusations that they were responsible for the chaos at the Champions League final amid excessive crowding outside Stade de France on Saturday.

The treatment of fans was "deeply concerning" according to the British government.

UEFA officials spent hours discussing the chaos that delayed the start for 37 minutes of the biggest club match in the year, after Liverpool's defeat to Real Madrid 1-0.

As the final began, riot police fired tear gas into open spaces immediately outside the stadium doors to disperse anyone lingering around Gate U.

French ministers of the interior and sports alleged that ticketless Liverpool supporters tried to force their way into the stadium. This was contrary to reports showing people climbing over fences. Liverpool supporters were heard screaming, "Get down!"

Ronan Evain (executive director of Football Supporters Europe), told The Associated Press that the French public authorities are using the stigma surrounding English fans for political gain.

Although hundreds of Liverpool fans were concerned about the closure of gates, there was no obvious aggression. Police hostility seemed to have exacerbated frustrations.

There were problems even before reaching the final turnstiles. The entry points to the wider perimeter were blocked off, forcing fans to travel through narrow passages which caused bottlenecks.

UEFA claimed that fans arrived late to delay kickoff, prompting jeers and jeers from the crowd. However, thousands of Liverpoolians were seen arriving at the stadium hours before kickoff to be greeted with organizational chaos in the heat of the afternoon.

Evain, who advises UEFA regarding supporter issues, stated that congestion was partially caused by fans being diverted 150 meters away to a smaller entrance.

Evain stated that there have been mobility issues around the Stade de France since inception.

"We are shocked by the communication from the French public authorities. Yesterday's fiasco has left Liverpool and Real Madrid fans as the victims. They are not the ones responsible.

"Tear gassing people who try to enter the stadium is crazy."

The British government requested that UEFA launch a formal investigation into the problems with French officials and officials at the stadium.

"The footage and accounts of Liverpool fans and media at their entry to Stade de France last evening are deeply concerning," said Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries.

"It is in everyone's best interests to understand what happened, and to take lessons from these events."

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