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Friday, March 31, 2023

Mayor Says Police at Champions League Final Were Looking for Conflict

According to Liverpool’s metro mayor, police at the Champions League final “went searching for confrontation” and must be held accountable for what occurred to supporters.

On Saturday, officers were chastised for using pepper spray and tear gas on Liverpool fans waiting to enter the Stade de France in Paris.

Steve Rotheram, who was present at the game, described the “chaotic scenes” as “outrageous.”

“Lessons must be learnt,” he continued, “but I won’t hold my breath.”

Mr Rotheram, a lifelong Liverpool supporter, said on Twitter that he had “been silent” since the final because, “like many others,” he had his phone taken by pickpockets near the stadium.

The treatment of fans, according to the mayor of Liverpool City Region, was “tough to behold.”

“What should have been the perfect climax to a fantastic season ended on a sad note, but it had nothing to do with what happened on the pitch,” he explained.

He described the events outside Stade de France as “totally chaotic, with what looked to be a breakdown of control and communication,” and claimed he was “outraged by the abuse of Liverpool supporters at the hands of the French police.”

“While supporters flocked to the stadium expecting for a memorable night, it appears that the Gendarmerie [French national police] went in search of trouble,” he continued.

Mr Rotheram claimed he begged with “everyone who would listen to me, including Uefa president [Aleksander] eferin” to assist Liverpool supporters.

“He seemed unconcerned about what was going on outside. His audacity, on the other hand, surprised me “The mayor of the metropolis stated.

“He was stating that the officials had murdered themselves to get the game on – and I pleaded with him, saying, ‘Well, don’t kill the people outside,’ and he abruptly ended the discussion.”

GĂ©rald Darmanin, France’s interior minister, alleged that “huge, industrial-scale” ticket fraud prompted a stampede of Liverpool supporters, and that “more than half of the arrests made at the Stade de France involved British residents.”

Fans, Liverpool FC, and Merseyside Police’s matchday officers have all contested his accusations, and Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries has requested Uefa to formally examine the “very alarming” events.

Uefa stated on Monday evening that it has commissioned an independent inquiry into the incidents outside the stadium that had caused the Champions League final to be postponed on Saturday.

“More than any other club, our fans understand the threat inadequate policing and organization at a football event can pose,” Mr Rotheram said, referring to the 1989 Hillsborough catastrophe, in which 97 Liverpool fans died as a result of police blunders.

“It’s unfortunate how easily other clubs’ supporters appear to have embraced Uefa’s and the French authorities’ falsehoods and disinformation,” he remarked.

“Too frequently, fans of various clubs have been used as convenient scapegoats to divert attention away from the authorities’ ineptitude.”

“Lessons must be learnt, and responsibility must follow,” he continued, “but don’t hold your breath.”

“How can the authorities ever learn the lessons to prevent any repeat?” he continued that the authorities aren’t entirely honest with themselves.

Cedric Blackwater
Cedric Blackwater
Cedric is a journalist with over a decade of experience reporting on local US news, and touching on many global topics. He is currently the lead writer for Bulletin News.

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