Paris Police Chief has apologized for the tear gassing of Liverpool fans during the Champions League final. He also said that “maybe I was wrong”.
Some supporters were tear-gassed and pepper-sprayed as they attempted to enter the Stade de France during the match between Liverpool and Real Madrid.
Didier Lallement, chief of police, spoke at the French Senate on Thursday. He said that he was sorry to have authorized the use tear gas, but that he felt no other choice given the circumstances.
Mr Lallement stated that it was a failure. People were pushed around, and they were attacked. It was a failure because it weakened the image of the country.
His widely discredited claim that upto 40,000 supporters tried to enter the stadium without tickets or fake tickets was not supported by any evidence.
Mr Lallement said that the figure does not have any scientific merit, but was based on feedback from public transport officials and police officers.
“Maybe I was mistaken, but it was built from all the information collected.
It doesn’t matter if there are 30,000 people or 40,000. It doesn’t matter if there were large numbers of people who could disrupt the organization of filtering. It doesn’t matter if we count them to within 5,000.
The French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin previously blamed British fans for the chaos caused by the “fraud of an industrial scale”. He claimed that thousands of fake tickets were responsible.
Richard Bouigue is the deputy mayor of Paris’ 12th arrondissement. He later wrote a letter to Liverpool supporters, in which he said he was sorry that some Liverpool fans had been “singled out for criticism.” He was the first French politician to apologize to British supporters.
He stated, “The time for official denimination is over, it’s time to apologise.”
“I regret the organization of the game’s dysfunctions and the lack of order that caused this real mess.”
Requirements for a complete investigation
The UK demanded an investigation and Boris Johnson’s spokesperson described the scene as “deeply disturbing and concerning.”
Liverpool FC called for an investigation after their supporters were attacked by violence. European football’s governing body, UEFA appointed Dr Tiago Rodrigues as an investigator.
Rumours have surfaced that Rodrigues may be connected to Aleksandar Ceferin, UEFA president. Liverpool is believed to be interested in confirming Rodrigues’ independence and the scope of his review.
To ensure that the process is completely independent, club officials will meet with Mr Rodrigues.
Merseyside Police observers stated that the vast majority of supporters who waited to enter the stadium behaved in an “exemplary manner” which did not justify the heavy-handed tactics used by the police.
Ian Byrne was the Labour MP for Liverpool West Derby and was present at the match in Paris. He said that he hadn’t seen such scenes since the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, which left 97 Liverpool fans dead.