MP demands retraction of ‘smears’ against Liverpool fans

The Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool was marred by chaotic scenes outside the stadium in Paris

UK ministers must press UEFA and the French government to “retract the attempts to smear” Liverpool fans over the chaotic scenes at the Champions League final, lawmakers heard on Monday.

European football’s governing body UEFA last week apologised to spectators over their “frightening” experience before the match in Paris and has also commissioned an independent review.

Some supporters said they feared being crushed after small openings were used to filter the queues in the run-up to the match, which Real Madrid won 1-0.

MPs demanded ministers put further pressure on UEFA and the French government, with sports minister Nigel Huddleston pleading to raise concerns with his French counterpart this week.

He said without the “magnificent efforts” of Liverpool supporters, the chaos could have led to a disaster worse than Hillsborough.

“I watched children getting pepper-sprayed and pensioners getting tear-gassed, turnstiles and exits shut while thousands queued for hours waiting to attend the blue ribbon occasion of the season.

– Hillsborough inquest –

The inquest’s jury that policing decisions “caused or contributed” to the deaths, and amounted to “gross negligence”.

He also asked Huddleston whether he would “call on the French government and UEFA to retract the attempts to smear Liverpool Football Club supporters without any verifiable evidence produced to substantiate the claims”.

“These investigations must establish the facts so the authorities can learn lessons from the event and ensure we do not see scenes like this ever again,” he said.

“Questions also remain over UEFA’s independent review as the chair (former Portuguese government minister Tiago Brandao Rodrigues) is a close friend of the president (Aleksander Ceferin),” she said.

Originally published as MP demands retraction of ‘smears’ against Liverpool fans

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