France says 'sorry' for use of tear gas after blaming Liverpool fans with fake tickets

1 June 2022, 18:52 | Updated: 1 June 2022, 19:32

France has apologised for blaming Liverpool fans.
France has apologised for blaming Liverpool fans. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

France has apologised for "disproportionate" use of tear gas on Liverpool fans at the Champions League final, despite earlier blaming supporters for needing to deploy it.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

France's interior minister Gerald Darmanin shared his regret over the way the match between Liverpool and Real Madrid was managed in a senate committee hearing on Wednesday.

It came after children and disabled fans were among those who were pepper sprayed and had CS gas fired at them at the final over the weekend.

Chaos erupted around the stadium in Paris as fans spent hours waiting to get in, forcing kick-off in the clash between Liverpool and eventual champions Real Madrid to be pushed back.

"Clearly things could have been organised better. It is evident that this celebration of sport was ruined and we very much regret the troubles which were sometimes unacceptable," Mr Darmanin said.

He added: "I am very sincerely sorry for that disproportionate use and sanctions will be taken."

Read more: French police back Liverpool fans and call for minister to go after Champions League chaos

Read more: Disabled Liverpool supporter slams French minister's Champions League final 'lies'

However, the interior minister also claimed that Liverpool supporters represented a public disorder risk, in a bid to defend France's management of the game.

"It is clear - all the security services notes say so - that the people of Liverpool pose public order problems," he said.

"Not all its supporters, but a small part of its supporters."

Mr Darmanin also told the senate that two cases had been referred to France's police watchdog regarding the possible disproportionate use of force during the event.

French police are also set to be sent to the UK and Spain next week to help any citizens who believed they were victims of crime to file a complaint.

Questioned about security at the game he said: "The negative image of this match is a wound to our national pride and it is obvious that things could have been better organised. Did we avoid the worst? Yes. Could we have planned more? No doubt."

Spain's Real Madrid beat Liverpool 1-0 in the final.

Away from the game, meant to be one of the most prestigious ties in the footballing calendar, the situation descended into shambles.

"Local youths" were attempting to rush the stadium, according to Ted Morris, chairman of the Liverpool Disabled Supporters Association.

Children, wheelchair users and blind fans got caught up as French police deployed crowd control measures like pepper spray and tear gas, leaving peaceful Liverpool fans questioning why they had been targeted.

Mr Darmanin previously claimed there was "industrial scale" ticket fraud which led to the delays before kick off in the final and that some British fans had "intruded" into the stadium.

But one senior official from the Gendarmerie, one of France's police forces, said attempts to justify what happened on Saturday "mark the bankruptcy of a ministry which does not know how to mark a sporting event" in quotes given to French media.

President Emmanuel Macron earlier said he fully supported Mr Darmanin, who has faced ongoing criticism since the incident.

A spokeswoman said he wanted the light "shone on what really happened, in full transparency, and very quickly".

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

James O'Brien caller fears her Ukrainian refugee is 'an economic migrant'

Government 'played on our emotions' to host Ukrainian refugees, says James O'Brien caller

Thunder and lightning will be possible on Monday following the four-day heatwave.

Thunderstorm warning as heavy rain to batter UK in abrupt end to scorching four-day heatwave

Police have arrested a man in his 20s

Man, 34, dies after being mauled to death by dog in Hampshire park as owner arrested

Breaking
The River Thames at Shepperton in Surrey.

Body pulled from River Thames in search for man who disappeared under water

Prince Andrew to keep taxpayer-funded bodyguards despite moving away from royal duties

Prince Andrew to keep taxpayer funded bodyguards after security review following Epstein scandal

The Kitchen @ London House on the Isle of Wight

'Arrogant holier than thou' vegans slammed by restaurant after backlash over new menu

Lincolnshire Police released a series of photos of Lilia

'We had four corners and now one is gone': Lilia Valutyte's mother pays tribute to girl, 9, stabbed in Boston

Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate was searched by the FBI on Monday.

FBI 'searched Donald Trump's estate for classified nuclear documents’

The UK will host Eurovision after coming runners up to Ukraine in 2022

Seven cities make shortlist ahead of UK's Eurovision song contest

Dr Coffey defended Liz Truss from Tony Blair's institute's criticisms

Truss supporter defends tax plan after Tony Blair says it would only save poorest 76p but richest get £93

The two attacks allegedly took place on Cheetham Hill Road.

Man, 25, arrested after two women 'raped' with one suffering 'significant injuries' in Manchester

The economy shrank by 0.1% between April and June.

Economy shrinks by 0.1% as inflation battle rages and recession fears grow

The advert sparked an online backlash

Paint advert sparks 'sexism' backlash but company claims it's just a bit of fun

Drought status has been declared for swathes of England as dry and hot weather continues

Water could be rationed as drought declared across parts of England and tankers arrive in first villages

Anne Heche is "not expected to survive" a horror crash in Los Angeles, her family has said.

US actress Anne Heche 'not expected to survive' horror crash that engulfed car in flames, says devastated family

Liz Truss has said she is against a windfall tax on energy companies

Truss vows no windfall tax for energy firms as Boris accused of doing nothing to help families pay soaring bills