Paris police chief finally apologises for tear-gassing Liverpool fans

Paris head of police finally apologises for tear-gassing Liverpool fans and admits ‘mistaken’ claims of 40,000 fake tickets causing Champions League final chaos had ‘no scientific value’… but hits out at Jurgen Klopp telling ticketless fans to travel

  • Paris police chief  has told a Senate Commission the Champions League security operation was a ‘failure’, and apologised for tear gassing fans 
  • Didier Lallement appeared at a hearing today to explain what went wrong
  • The police chief admitted there was ‘no scientific virtue’ to the claim that up to 40,000 tickets for the game were counterfeit – it was concocted fromreports 

The head of Paris police has finally accepted there was a ‘failure’ at the Champions League final and has belatedly apologised for tear-gassing fans.

But Didier Lallement also took a swipe at Liverpool for encouraging fans to travel without tickets.

The showpiece fixture on May 28 was marred by chaotic scenes outside the Stade de France, with thousands of Liverpool supporters unable to enter.

Fans were stuck outside the football ground for two hours  before being hit with tear gas by French police 

Kick-off was delayed as the situation descended into mayhem as French police pepper-sprayed desperate fans as they waited to get inside.

Until now, there has been no apology from the French authorities who have instead claimed that the carnage was caused by ’30-40,000’ Liverpool supporters turning up with fake tickets.

And in astonishing scenes in front of an angry French Senate, Lallement admitted that figure – heavily contested by the vast majority of those present – had been plucked out of his own head.

‘It’s obviously a failure,’ Lallement told a commission investigating what senators described as a ‘fiasco’ that was ‘seen by 450m across the world’.

Riot police hold back fans at the stadium entrance, as supporters complained of a lack of open gates, staff and problems with ticketing that saw some wait for hours to get inside 

Paris police chief Didier Lallement gave evidence about the security operation for the UEFA Champions League final at a Senate hearing in the French capital today

Paris police chief Didier Lallement criticised Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, suggesting the club encouraged ‘its supporters to come en masse to Paris, even without a ticket.’

‘The image of the country has been shaken, people have been attacked. But the match was held and there were no serious injuries or fatalities.’

Lallement added that he was ‘sorry’ for the deployment of tear gas, but claimed there was no other option. ‘We needed to get people to move back,’ he said. ‘It’s the only way to our knowledge of moving a crowd back, except for a baton charge.’

Lallement was also quizzed on the controversial, inflammatory 30-40,000 claim, made by interior minister Gerald Darmanin.

Gerald Darmanin (right) said filtering out the fake tickets had caused long delays and dangerous crushes for Liverpool fans getting into the Stade de France, after sport minister Amelie Oudea-Castera (left) had blamed the club for the chaos

French officials under fire for chaos at the Champions League final in Paris claimed tens of thousands of fans had turned up with fake tickets, presenting two near-identical passes while claiming one was a forgery (right)

‘Perhaps I made a mistake with the figure I gave to the minister,’ he said. ‘I never claimed that it was absolutely accurate. The figure has no scientific virtue but it came from feedback from police and public transport officials.’

He added: ‘Whether there are 30,000 or 40,000 people, it doesn’t change anything. What matters is that there were people, in large numbers, likely to disrupt the proper organization of the filtering. But that we count them precisely to within 5000, it doesn’t change much.’

Lallement also criticised Liverpool. ‘The Liverpool club did not send the necessary information to the police headquarters concerning the movement of its supporters,’ he said. ‘Even inviting its supporters to come en masse to Paris, even without a ticket.’

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