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    Liverpool speak out as more footage of unsavoury scenes emerge of fans and police

    Liverpool have had to speak out as more footage of unsavoury scenes emerge of fans and police before, during and after Saturday’s game.

    Supporters were also subjected to being pepper-sprayed and tear gassed in a Paris fan park and outside Stade de France after the Champions League final.

    Ahead of kick off, UEFA issued a statement to say that the match was delayed due to the late arrival of Liverpool fans, however Merseyside Police officers in the city say this wasn’t the case.

    Tweeting after Liverpool lost against Real Madrid, officers said: “MERPOL was deployed to this evening’s match. Can only describe it as the worst European match I’ve ever worked or experienced.”

    Liverpool fans were also praised for their “exemplary” behaviour at the stadium.

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    They added: “I thought the behaviour of the fans at the turnstiles was exemplary in shocking circumstances. You were not late 100%”

    Liverpool FC have requested a formal investigation from UEFA after supporters faced serious organisational issues outside the Stade de France.

    The ECHO understands senior officials from Liverpool officially requested for the kick-off to be delayed after lobbying UEFA while the security of the stadium was a substantial issue which caused the time to be pushed back.

    Liverpool also say that the UEFA message about late arrival of Liverpool fans is totally inaccurate and security concerns were raised with UEFA on numerous occasions ahead of the game.

    ECHO reporter Charlotte Hadfield, was in Paris near the Cours de Vincennes fan zone after the final whistle when she said she had to run from police who began throwing cans of gas.

    Charlotte said: “Riot police moved in a short time ago in this square and seemed to fire some sort tear gas which caused hundreds of fans having to disperse. It’s not sure what prompted them to do that, but that was obviously quite distressing for fans having to run out of here quite quickly as the tear gas went into their eyes.

    “The police presence in general in this area tonight has been very, very heavy and there has been quite a tense atmosphere I would say. There’s been police on motorbikes travelling round and stationed at various points.”

    One Liverpool fan posted on Twitter: “Tear gassed and attacked by French Police with batons after the game. Disgusting behaviour by the authorities.”

    www.fanbanter.co.uk – Fan reaction to the latest football news, gossip & funnies

    Sol Simpson told the ECHO: “Before the game water cannons was already set up at the sides of the strip, riot vans galore.

    “Seconds after final whistle we all start sneezing, just not really thinking what it was until our eyes were itching struggling to breath it caused absolute panic and chaos within the fan park of fans not knowing what’s exactly happening.

    “Outside of the fan park French police all lined up in sections strategically with their riot armour batons and shields and plenty of vehicle support. We were totally surrounded and surrendered we lost a Champions League final and the last thing we wanted was trouble.”

    Sol Simpson added that he was shocked at how the situation was handled, he said: “Well when you pay £700+ to go watch a game you don’t expect this treatment either such poor policing and absolute brutality fair enough if the fans did something to set this off but in the fan park they was no trouble all game and all day long.”

    Meanwhile, Paris Police Prefecture previously posted via Twitter, saying at 10.10pm on Saturday they evacuated 500 people from a bar called Irish Pub Bar near the Cours de Vincennes fan zone over safety fears.

    Video of the scene sent in by an ECHO reporter shows riot police armed with shields outside the venue standing in line. Football fans are seen walking around.

    Police said the “situation calm again on the spot.” A spokesperson for Préfecture de Police said in a statement on Twitter: “At 10:10 p.m., in a bar near the Cours de Vincennes fan zone, evacuation of 500 people at the request of the police. Situation calm again on the spot.”

    One of those people at bar was Stewart Paris, 50, who had been there since 11am today. He claims police “just came and shut the bar. Speaking to the ECHO, he added: “We’ve been here since 11 o’clock this morning. It was fine, friendly, happy. They literally just came and shut the bar.”

    Stewart Paris said he thinks the way the fan park has been policed has been “very aggressive”. He came out of the fan park at half time and police wouldn’t let him back in. He spent the second half of the match on his own split up from his friends and his phone had died.

    He said police had riot shields and wanted everyone in the Irish bar to leave, yet there was no trouble caused by fans.

    A statement from UEFA read: “In the lead-up to the game, the turnstiles at the Liverpool end became blocked by thousands fans who had purchased fake tickets which did not work in the turnstiles.

    “This created a build-up of fans trying to get in. As a result, the kick off was delayed by 35 minutes to allow as many fans as possible with genuine tickets to gain access. As numbers outside the stadium continued to build up after kick off, the police dispersed them with tear gas and forced them away from the stadium.

    “UEFA is sympathetic to those affected by these events and will further review these matters urgently together with the French police and authorities, and with the French Football Federation.”

    A statement from Liverpool read: “We are hugely disappointed at the stadium entry issues and break down of the security perimeter that Liverpool fans faced this evening at the Stade de France. This is the greatest match in European football and supporters should not have to experience the scenes we have witnessed tonight.

    “We have officially requested a formal investigation into the causes of these unacceptable issues.”

    Paris Police Prefecture also put out a statement, which said: “Before the meeting between the clubs of Liverpool and Real Madrid, many supporters without tickets for the match or holders of counterfeit tickets have disrupted access to the Stade de France, at the level the outer security perimeter.

    “Exerting strong pressure to penetrate the enclosure, these supporters delayed the access of spectators with tickets. Taking advantage of this action, a certain number of people managed to cross the gates protecting the stadium grounds.

    “The rapid intervention of the police allowed the return to calm and the evacuation of the disturbers outside the forecourt of the Stade de France The dispersal of the spectators takes place without difficulty. No major incident was observed in the two fan zones.”

    Sky Sports News’ Kaveh Solhekol at the Stade de France: “In the last few minutes, me and three of my crew were tear-gassed for no reason whatsoever by the French police. It was a pretty nasty experience but we sorted it out by getting a few bottles of water and pouring it in our eyes. We are all fine.

    “The situation here is a bit of a strange one. I think what has happened is a lot of people have turned up at the stadium without tickets. They seem to be young, French people just milling around and trying to break through the security cordons.

    “From what I’ve seen, even at the Liverpool fan park, the French police’s attitude has been very heavy-handed with absolutely zero tolerance. They don’t care how much of a crush is developing and they are insisting on searching absolutely everybody before they let them through.

    “We had a situation at the fan park this afternoon where some Liverpool fans were queuing up for three hours to get into a free event. There were three, four, five checkpoints where they were being held up and searched.

    “We had the same situation at the stadium tonight. There are so many police, riot police and security guards here and their mindset has been to stop anybody without a ticket getting anywhere near the stadium.

    “The situation is complicated because we’re not just talking about paper tickets, we’re talking about in the modern age, people have passes on their phones. They haven’t been able to bring up the right passes or find their passwords. We’ve seen people in tears because they’ve had their tickets swiped from them. People have had their electronic tickets stolen from them.

    “As far as the police and security here [at the Stade de France] are concerned, they don’t care. They don’t want anybody near the stadium if they don’t have tickets. I’m walking around the streets now and it’s full of young, French people trying to find a way to get inside the security cordon.

    “I can only say from what I’ve seen as an eyewitness myself, but I haven’t seen any Liverpool supporters whatsoever causing any problem at all. I haven’t seen them turning up late, I was quite shocked at how early supporters had turned up at the stadium.

    “We got here about four hours before kick-off, expecting it to be quite quiet. But it felt like it was an hour before kick-off because so many people had arrived early and in good time. I would be very wary when I read statements from UEFA blaming the kick-off being delayed and the problems outside the stadium on the late arrival of fans. That is not the case from what I have seen.

    “I have seen quite a few fans trying to trick their way past security guards and the policemen and all of those supporters I’ve seen trying to do that are Spanish. It was one of those incidents we got caught up in when we were tear-gassed, a group of riot police were trying to eject some Real Madrid supporters who were trying to get through the cordon without tickets.

    “There was a bit of a confrontation between the Spanish supporters and the riot police, and that’s when they got out the tear gas and we happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    “But I have to stress again – with my own eyes, I haven’t seen any Liverpool supporters causing any problems or trouble whatsoever.”



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