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Champions League

UK Government urges UEFA to launch “formal investigation” into Champions League final chaos


Nadine Dorries has called on UEFA to look into the distressing scenes which marred the Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid at the Stade de France in Paris

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Champions League final: Tear gas used following match

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The UK Government has urged UEFA to launch a “formal investigation” into the chaos which marred Saturday’s Champions League final.

Liverpool fans were tear-gassed and stranded in queues ahead of the Reds’ 1-0 defeat to Real Madrid at the Stade de France in Paris. The disruption led to kick-off being delayed three times as thousands of supporters were forcibly denied entry, despite having legitimate tickets. Liverpool supporters were also attacked by riot police at a fan zone in the city and players’ families were even caught up in the trouble.

The club themselves called for an investigation and have now been backed by Downing Street. UK Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries declared: “The footage and accounts from Liverpool fans and the media on their entry to the Stade de France last night are deeply concerning. Thousands of ticket holders travelled to Paris in good time to support their team in the biggest match of their season.

“I urge UEFA to launch a formal investigation into what went wrong and why, in coordination with stadium staff, the French Police, Federation Française de Football, Merseyside Police and Liverpool Football Club. It is in the interests of everyone involved to understand what happened and to learn lessons from these events.”

Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston tweeted as the distressing scenes were shared on social media: “We are very concerned about the upsetting scenes around the Stade de France last night and shall be working with the appropriate authorities to find out what happened and why.”

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Merseyside Police, who had officers deployed in Paris to work in an observer and advisory capacity, said the majority of fans had behaved in an “exemplary” manner, arrived at turnstiles early and queued as directed.They added that those officers would contribute their observations to the relevant authorities for the debrief.

The Champions League final was marred by distressing pre-match scenes which forced kick-off to be delayed three times
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Image:

Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

Assistant Chief Constable Chris Green explained: “We know that people would have witnessed a lot of distressing scenes last night and we wish everyone returning home from Paris a safe journey. Our focus today will be supporting Liverpool city council with the policing of the homecoming parade.”

UEFA claimed that the delays were caused by “thousands of fans” trying to gain entry with fake tickets which would not work in the turnstiles. The Paris police prefecture said these supporters “employed strong force” in an attempt to gain entry and delayed the entrance of those with genuine tickets.

The police went on to say that others then sought to capitalise on the situation and breached the fences. “The rapid intervention of security forces allowed calm to return and helped remove the disruptors from the surroundings of the Stade de France,” a statement read.

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