Liverpool have had a staggering response to their request for fans’ experiences in Paris, with more than 5,000 accounts of violence, kettling and attacks
Liverpool have had a staggering response to their call for fans to share their painful experiences in Paris at the weekend.
More than five thousand accounts of horrific violence from French police, crushing due to kettling, and attacks in and around the Stade de France in the French capital have been submitted in less than 24 hours. That is a quarter of the Reds’ entire allocation for the Champions League final, showing just how widespread the incidents were as the situation descended into chaos and carnage.
Liverpool had issued the call on all their public channels on Monday as they look to build a significant dossier of evidence before possible legal action on behalf of their supporters. They have have also reacted angrily to further accusations from the French government, who doubled down on Tuesday on their claims the chaos was caused by a “massive, organised fraud on an industrial scale” by Liverpool fans with fake tickets.
The claim was made by Gerald Darmanin, the French government’s interior minister. Darmanin claimed that the policing of the final was “a complete success”, because there were “no serious injuries or loss of life”, despite mounting evidence that a kettling operation from the police almost caused a tragedy.
The minister also claimed that “70 per cent of Liverpool fans at the final had false tickets” and were weeded out by police in their first security cordon. But thousands of eye witnesses have confirmed there were no security checks at the first cordon, so it was impossible to know if anyone had fake tickets.
And in the same statement Darmanin also conceded that the police lifted the first security cordon they created, because of the threat to life, as they narrowed 20,000 fans down to single file. That meant there were no security checks, allowing fans to proceed around a narrow cordon to gates which were either closed completely, or had a single turn-style operating.
The French authorities also revealed that almost 3000 valid Liverpool tickets were NOT activated on the night, meaning – potentially – almost a seventh of English fans were denied legitimate access by either faulty machines or police.
Darmanin also claimed that the problems were exacerbated because Liverpool had requested paper tickets, even though these were far more difficult to replicate, and there were incidents of local fans getting through security with photos of electronic tickets. Liverpool will now keep open their fan channels to get more feedback, and study closely all responses to build the most powerful dossier of evidence to take to the French government, and quite possibly the courts.
They are determined to get recompense for the night which turned into a nightmare for so many of their supporters, and became the most serious situation in football for many years.