Liverpool chairman Tom Werner has demanded an apology from the French sports minister after she blamed the Reds and supporters with fake tickets for the chaos outside the Stade de France before and during Saturday’s Champions League final.
The match was delayed amid ugly scenes around the ground, with reports of ticket turnstiles being closed hours before kick-off, crushing and police caught on camera pepper-spraying fans – including children – as they attempted to gain access.
Liverpool would lose the game 1-0 after Vinicius Jr rounded off a fine team move with simple finish in the second half.
French sports minister Amelie Oudea-Castera blamed Liverpool fans with fake tickets for the initial issue that caused the back-up, while interior minister Gerald Darmanin claimed there had been a ‘massive ticket fraud’.
In a letter to Oudea-Castera, Liverpool chairman Werner delivered a furious riposte to her claims on Monday, lamenting a ‘security collapse’ in Paris.
He wrote: “I am writing to you today out of utter disbelief that a Minister of the French Government, a position of enormous responsibility and influence, could make a series of unproven pronouncements on a matter of such significance before a proper, formal, independent investigation process has even taken place.
“The events that occurred in and around the Stade de France on Saturday night at the UEFA Champions League Final were not only incredibly dangerous for all who attended, but raised serious questions about the organisation and operation of the event. This should be the focus of all interested parties today rather than pursuing a blame game strategy via press conference.
“I have received countless emails from Liverpool supporters who were frightened to death, and subject to police harassment, pepper spray and tear gas. These fans were treated like cattle.
“The fact that your public position went against this objective is a concern in itself. That you did so without any recourse to ourselves or our supporters is an even greater one. All voices should count in this process, and they should count equally and fairly.
“UEFA Champions League Final should be one of the finest spectacles in world sport, and instead it devolved into one of the worst security collapses in recent memory. On behalf of all the fans who experienced this nightmare I demand an apology from you, and assurance that the French Authorities and UEFA allow an independent and transparent investigation to proceed.”
UEFA has already confirmed there will be an independent report into the the chaotic scenes surrounding the match.