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French Senate: Supporters not to blame for Paris chaos

The French Senate today released its report into the chaos at last season’s Champions League final – completely exonerating Liverpool and Real Madrid fans.

The report, titled An Inevitable Fiasco, found that the authorities wrongly pinned the blame on supporters in an attempt to “divert attention” from the failings of the state and competition organisers UEFA.

The Senate spoke to politicians, police and supporters – including compelling and distressing evidence from FSA-affiliates Spirit of Shankly and the Liverpool Disabled Supporters Association.

An Inevitable Fiasco found that the interior minister’s claim that there were large numbers of fake tickets “did not correspond to the truth”. Intelligence that 300-400 pickpockets and muggers would gather before the match was not acted upon either – leaving fans vulnerable to theft and assaults.

“Clearly we express our regret and apologies for what happened” – Senator Laurent Lafon

Reaction: Spirit of Shankly 

“What should have been a fitting finale to a great season instead turned into a chaotic, frightening shambles,” said Spirit of Shankly.

“The false narrative began immediately – blaming fans for arriving late, for having fake tickets “on an industrial scale” and for arriving in their thousands without tickets. But we, the supporters, knew the truth. In short, it was a monumental failure by the French authorities and UEFA.

“Today the Senate has sent a clear message of support to those supporters who attended the match and Spirit of Shankly would like to thank the Senate both for welcoming the testimonies of fans and consequently vindicating them from any responsibility.

“However, there remains the issue of lies being persistently repeated. We want a full apology from the French Government with a complete retraction of the lies purported on their behalf on and since 28th May 2022, and will continue to lobby to achieve it.”

What does the FSA think?

The recommendations around organisation, ticketing procedures, and stewarding training are stark and UEFA must listen – these mistakes cannot be made again. Supporters had horrendous experiences and lives could quite easily have been lost.

Spirit of Shankly have called on UEFA and the French authorities to commit to “a full independent inquiry to get to the truth and justice”. We absolutely back that call.

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