Champions League final: Liverpool CEO Billy Hogan ‘horrified’ by fan reports of Paris treatment | football news

Liverpool chief executive Billy Hogan says he is “appalled” by fan accounts after receiving more than 5,000 comments about issues surrounding Saturday’s Champions League final.

Liverpool created an online form for fans to submit their own experiences at the Stade de France, prompting Hogan to condemn the incidents “no one should experience” both before and after the game.

Speaking to the club’s website, Hogan thanked fans for their help in piecing together the picture of what happened outside the stadium, which saw the game delayed by nearly 40 minutes by UEFA and was originally blamed on the late arrival. of the fans.

“There aren’t a lot of details at this stage, it’s obviously an evolving process, but we want to make sure the right steps are taken to get the facts about what happened in Paris on Saturday,” he said.

“I spent time over the course of today reviewing some of the information and I am honestly appalled at the way some men, women, children, without physical disabilities, have been treated indiscriminately over the course of Saturday.

“I think it’s important to recognize that we’ve all focused correctly on the access issues at the Stade de France; I think it’s also important that we don’t lose sight of what happened after the match. I think we’ve all seen video.” , photos, I’ve read a number of stories of absolutely horrible experiences leaving the stadium as well: crimes committed, robberies.

“No one should experience what our fans experienced before or after the match. In our opinion this is obviously totally unacceptable, so it is important that we create this body of experience, which clearly needs to be included in independent research.”

That investigation has yet to be commissioned by UEFA despite Liverpool’s request, with Europe’s governing body opting for an “independent report” into the troubles in Paris. It will be chaired by the Portuguese deputy Dr. Tiago Brandao Rodrigues.

Hogan added: “This may just be a difference in language, but in our minds we are asking for an independent investigation rather than an independent report. So again, the details are really important here and we will follow up with UEFA on that during the the days to come.”

Liverpool’s chief executive also paid tribute to the outpouring of support from the media and professionals involved in the game for trying to explain the chaotic scenes around France’s national stadium, in contrast to French sports minister Amelie Oudea-Castera, who blamed Liverpool fans for letting “out”. in nature” because of the problems.

Liverpool supporters were unable to access the Stade de France without any problems before the clash with Real Madrid, which had to be delayed by more than 30 minutes as a result. Speaking earlier on Tuesday, Hogan criticized the “surprising” comments of the French government official.

The French Sports Minister has since commissioned a report on the problems that marred the weekend’s main event. Oudea-Castera has asked Michael Cadot, interministerial delegate for major sporting events, to submit the report within 10 days.

France blames ‘fraud’ for CL chaos

The French interior minister blamed “industry-level fraud” for the chaos at the Champions League final in Paris with 70 per cent of tickets trying to enter the Stade de France thought to be fake.

Saturday’s match at the Stade de France between Liverpool and Real Madrid started with a 36-minute delay after police tried to stop people trying to force their way into the French national stadium without tickets, while some holders of tickets complained that they were not allowed to enter. .

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said thousands of fake tickets had caused the chaos that ensued when Liverpool fans tried to enter the stadium on Saturday night.

“At 21:00, the time scheduled for the start of the match, 97 per cent of the Spanish supporters were present, only 50 per cent of the British supporters had entered their section, which shows the difficulties that arose only in the ticket in relation to the Liverpool fans and not the other tickets,” he told a news conference addressing crowd problems.

“There was massive industry-wide fraud and organization of false tickets because previous filtering by the Stade de France and the French football federation saw that 70 percent of the tickets were false.

“Once the pre-filtering stage was passed, 15 percent of the tickets were false, more than 2,600 were non-validated tickets despite the fact that they had gone through the first filtering.

“The massive presence of these fake tickets was the problem that meant there were delays. There were 29 arrests that took place inside the Stade de France and more than half of those arrests were British sympathizers because they had meddled inside the Stade de France.”

French sports minister Oudea-Castera added that between 30,000 and 40,000 people did not have tickets or had fake tickets and “everyone wants to make sure this never happens again”.

She said: “Some people had bought tickets and were deprived of a match and we would like to say how sorry we are to all those people that their Saturday night experience was completely ruined. We have asked UEFA that those people should be identified and could be compensated soon to try to overcome their frustration.

“The main focus point is to really understand precisely what happened during this massive fraud when it comes to ticketing. There are witnesses to this and the numbers corroborate that between 30,000 and 40,000 without tickets or with fake tickets. The fake tickets they looked unbelievably like normal tickets so some controls didn’t notice.

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Kaveh Solhekol gives his understanding of what happened in the Champions League final on Saturday night and why he thinks the claims accusing Liverpool fans of showing up with 40,000 fake tickets are false.

“We want there to be a very detailed and in-depth investigation with UEFA to see what happened, why, how and to what extent. UEFA has heard our request and we are looking forward to the swift start of this investigation.”

Earlier on Monday, Oudea-Castera blamed Liverpool fans who showed up without valid tickets.

Oudea-Castera told French radio RTL: “What happened, first of all, was this massive gathering of British fans of the Liverpool club, with no tickets or false tickets.”

UEFA blamed “thousands of fans with fake tickets” for causing delays, while UK Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries called for a formal investigation into the cause of the chaos.

‘I didn’t see a single fake ticket’

Sky Sports News chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol:

“[The French explanation] Doesn’t match at all what I saw. Let’s clear up what happened in Paris this morning. We had a meeting between the French sports minister, the French interior minister, UEFA and the Paris police chief, Didier Lallement. Now I am sure that in this meeting this morning, the chief of police had been asked what happened on Saturday. This is shameful for France. It was a disaster.

“Look at all the terrible headlines around the world. Next year they’re going to host the Rugby World Cup. They’re going to host the 2024 Olympics. I’m sure they asked him to explain what went wrong, and I think the blame has passed.” because of what he went through with the Liverpool fans and now with the fake tickets.

“I’m sure there were some fake tickets. There are always fake tickets for grand finals, but I didn’t see anything that looked like a massive fraud industrial operation. For example, I didn’t have Liverpool supporters coming to me and saying they were complaining or upset because they bought fake tickets.

“They would come up to me complaining about the fact that they were being gassed, pepper-sprayed and crushed. The French police treated them like animals.”

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Kaveh Solhekol and members of his Sky Sports production team were tear-gassed by French police outside the Stade de France.

“What I saw was chaos, total disorganization and the blame was squarely on UEFA, the French authorities, the stadium authorities and the French police. We were in a situation where 20,000 Liverpool supporters turned up at that stadium from up to five hours early”. kick-off and they were asked to wait in a confined space and there was a space that was only big enough for one person that 20,000 people filtered through.

“There were no Liverpool supporters at this meeting and there were no Real Madrid supporters at this meeting. I did not see a single false ticket. I would treat what was said in this press conference with extreme caution.

“No supporters came up to me and said, ‘I was sold a fake ticket. I’ve spent thousands of pounds on this.’ I saw some supporters very, very upset that they were being treated terribly by the French police.” That’s what I saw, I saw women and children crying, women and children being tear gassed.

Liverpool

“From the Real Madrid supporters I spoke to and what I saw with my own eyes, there was also a lot of trouble at the Real Madrid winger. I know you’re seeing this narrative, especially on social media, asking why there was only trouble. at the Liverpool winger, while at the Real Madrid winger everything was nice and quiet.

“That was not the case. In fact, I was pepper-sprayed at the Real Madrid end of the pitch.

“There were big problems at the Real Madrid end of the pitch as well. There were many, many local French youths who got into the Real Madrid end of the pitch. A lot of Real Madrid supporters were also mugged and attacked after the match, so neither At the back of the Real Madrid pitch, everything was happy”.

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