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Hillsborough tragedy linked to heavy-handed policing of Paris final, report reveals
16 June 2022, 09:55 | Updated: 16 June 2022, 12:54
Liverpool fans were targeted with tear gas and riot police were deployed because of a misconceived link between the Hillsborough disaster and hooliganism, according to an official French report into the Champions League final.
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The Champions League final at the Stade de France in May descended into chaos, with long queues and violent clashes breaking out between police and fans.
Some people had tear gas used against them, and the match was delayed by more than half an hour.
A report into the unrest has been compiled by Michel Cadot, the French sports ministry's delegate on major sporting events, for French prime minister Élisabeth Borne.
The report, which was delivered to Ms Borne's office last Friday, recognises that the responsibility of the police for Hillsborough "was pointed out".
A report into the unrest has been compiled by Michel Cadot, the French sports ministry's delegate on major sporting event, for French prime minister Élisabeth Borne.tive phenomena of hooliganism and havoc".
The 30-page report, obtained by the Guardian, also reiterates a claim that part of the problem at the Stade de France was a large number of Liverpool fans with fake tickets.
However it did acknowledge that Liverpool supporters do not have a history of violence at football matches.
The Hillsborough disaster was a fatal human crush during a football match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough Stadium in Yorkshire in 1989.
A total of 97 people died - 94 on the day, another days later, another in 1993 and another in 2021, after suffering severe brain damage in the crush.
In the days and weeks after the disaster South Yorkshire Police blamed football hooliganism and drunkenness by Liverpool fans.
But in 2016, after a 27-year campaign by bereaved families, an inquest jury determined the victims were unlawfully killed due to gross negligence manslaughter by the South Yorkshire Police officer in command Ch Supt David Duckenfield.
The families of victims have hit back at the association between Hillsborough and the violence in Paris in Mr Cadot's report.
Louise Brookes, whose brother Andrew, 26, was one of the 97 people killed, told the Guardian the report was "a total, outrageous failure to understand the disaster".
"This prejudice - that Liverpool supporters are hooligans, based on a complete misunderstanding of something that happened 33 years ago - nearly caused another disaster in Paris, to a new generation of Liverpool fans," she said.
Chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group Margaret Aspinall, whose 18-year-old son James was killed in the crush, said the report shows "the power of the lies that were told by the police".
She also pointed out that stadiums and policing were "made much safer after the disaster".
Steve Rotheram, the Labour mayor of Liverpool city region, said the report showed the crowd management at the event was based on "ignorance and prejudice" and called for a thorough investigation.
"This is described as intelligence but it displays a lack of intelligence and confirms our worst fears," he told the Guardian.
"The appalling policing and crowd mismanagement in Paris was based on a falsehood, ignorance and prejudice.
"This again underlines the need for a full, thorough, independent investigation."