Liverpool MP demands full enquiry after 'absolutely horrific' treatment of fans at Champions League Final - The Guide Liverpool

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Liverpool MP demands full enquiry after ‘absolutely horrific’ treatment of fans at Champions League Final

30/05/2022

MP for West Derby Ian Byrne has called for a full investigation into what he’s described as the ‘absolutely horrific’ treatment of Liverpool fans at the Champions League Final.

He said he was begging security to open more turnstiles as thousands of fans were caught in chaotic scenes outside the Stade de France.

And he’s likened the “narrative of lies” from some French authorities since, blaming ticketless Reds fans for causing trouble, to what happened after the Hillsborough tragedy.

“It’s so easy to put the blame on Liverpool fans, to put the blame on football fans, but we need a full investigation so this never happens again,” he said.

“This is the premium football event and to get treated like animals, which we were, and then the narrative to begin, that narrative of lies which we all known so well from 1989.

“I’m going to be calling on the Foreign Secretary to ask her counterpart in France for a full enquiry to get to the truth about what actually happened because it was absolutely horrific.”

Mayor Joanne Anderson has also called for an explanation into what happened before the game.

Ian told Sky News when he got to the ground, he was shocked to see signs saying, ‘due to the late arrival of fans.’

“There were people there who’d been there for three-and-a-half hours, who were kettled in, getting pepper sprayed, tear gassed.

“This was a football occasion, we’ve all seen the footage and seen the photos, I just thank God that this time journalists were there, so the real truth about what happened is out there now. But UEFA and the French authorities need to hang their heads in shame about what happened on Saturday night.

“I can speak from my personal experience, and my eye witness account was there were lots and lots of locals who were hanging around the ground. Obviously there are stories about mugging, and people getting tickets stolen, but I saw lots and lots of locals storming over the walls and over the gates. 

“Where I was standing, when we eventually got in, there were lots of local fans who didn’t wear colours, they’d just come in to do whatever they wanted to do within the stadium. That was my personal experience, that’s what I saw, and I’ll say it as it is. 

Champions League Final

“I’ve never witnessed anything so bad since 1989, it was absolutely horrific.

“I’ve never ever seen a more hostile environment for a football fan to go into – from the outset, the police, the security, everything about it was absolutely awful.

“We ended up getting through the gate about an hour before, there were 13 turnstiles, they had two open, funnelling people through and I literally begged the security guy to open the other gates. Just to let people in, people just wanted to go to the game.”

The MP, who was just 17 when he survived the Hillsborough disaster, has now urged Liverpool Football Club and the Government to investigate and act to prevent it happening again.

“I hope Liverpool FC, which I’m sure they will do, and our government stand up for Liverpool fans because that could have happened to any other football team. It’s not about Liverpool fans, it’s about football fans.

“That could have been any other team there experiencing what we experienced so it shouldn’t be sectarian, it should be football fans coming together and saying, ‘enough is enough, we’re not going to accept that’.”

Former Reds star turned pundit Jim Beglin was among thousands of fans who shared their traumatic experiences in Paris, highlighting insufficient stewarding/security before kick-off.

After the game he tweeted: “Post-match last night was the scariest thing I’ve ever experienced. Organised gangs set about mugging departing fans. We ran a gauntlet of thuggery on our way to the Metro. Not a police officer in sight. Witnessed so many ambush attacks on unsuspecting attendees. Reprehensible.”

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