Jurgen Klopp has been blamed by the French home secretary for contributing to the chaos at the Champions League final because he invited ticketless Liverpool fans to come to Paris.
And Gerald Darmanin also defended the use of tear gas at the Stade de France during chaotic scenes at the Stade de France – and claimed it was done to avoid any deaths.
French authorities have claimed that British fans arrived too late and in a disorganised way and said there were between 30,000-40,000 fans at the Stade de France who either had false tickets or no tickets at all.
“It is only in football with certain English clubs that there are these problems,” Darmanin said. Liverpool fans have claimed they were attacked indiscriminately with tear gas and pepper spray by the French police – and no action was taken to protect them leaving the stadium. The French government called a crisis meeting with UEFA, the mayor of Paris and the French FA today.
Speaking at a press conference at the French Ministry of Sport after the talks, Darmanin said: “The presence of so many British fans without tickets already happened, notably in 2019 in Madrid. And it created similar types of difficulties. There were the same issues at Wembley last year. The behaviour, the disorganisation and a huge market in fake tickets. And I remind you that the coach of Liverpool a few days ago called for fans to come to France even without tickets.
“And we found ourselves with tens and thousands of British fans of whom a part has fully respected and bought tickets or went to the dedicated fan zone. I remind you that there were tens of thousands of fans in the fan zone without problem. They have respected the rules. But there was a smaller but active part that clashed with our security system.”
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France will stage the Rugby World Cup next year and the 2024 Olympics and the government promised to learn lessons from Saturday night. Darmanin expressed his “regret” about the use of tear gas and pepper spray but added: “We have staged a lot of big football and rugby matches without any problems at the Stade de France. This way of policing has allowed us to avoid any deaths at the Stade de France. I think the comparison with rugby games or Olympics is a bit disproportionate because it is only in football with certain English clubs that there are these problems,
“I remind you that France has organised numerous rugby and football games in the last few weeks and months without any difficulties And even with some French clubs that can cause difficulties, like the final of the French Cup, there were no such problems. Indeed there were women and children who were exposed to tear gas. Others were pushed against the police barriers or the stadium fence. So in order to create space so people were not crushed, tear gas was used. And I had the chance to express my regrets – and the police commissioner – to those people. But I also saw that the police reacted quickly to help them afterwards. I agree it is totally not normal that this happened.”