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MPs call for independent inquiry into Champions League chaos

Influential MPs have written to the FA and Premier League calling upon them to back an independent inquiry into the treatment of fans at the Champions League final.

Ian Mearns MP, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Football Supporters, and Clive Betts MP, chair of the APPG for Football, called the scenes “deeply disturbing and distressing”.

“We’re sure that you, like many football supporters around the world, were appalled and disgusted by the videos and accounts of supporters who were present outside of the Stade de France,” say Mearns and Betts. “We do not believe that it is appropriate to leave UEFA and the French authorities in charge of investigating their own clear failings.

“Thousands of fans who had their lives and wellbeing placed in jeopardy at the hands of UEFA and the French authorities; we would strongly urge both of your organisations to liaise with colleagues in La Liga and the Royal Spanish Football Association to call on the events of Saturday 28th May to be investigated in a full and completely independent Inquiry.”

The letter points out that many of the accounts shared hallmarks with the events witnessed at Hillsborough in 1989 – including appalling crowd management and an “immediate assumption that any issues are the responsibility of the supporters themselves”.

What does the FSA think?

FSA chair Malcolm Clarke says: “The scenes we saw in Paris were unacceptable and the speed with which the French authorities and UEFA tried to shift the blame onto supporters was shocking.

“We’d like to see an independent analysis of what went wrong and recommendations as to how you make sure this kind of thing never happens again.”

The FSA has been flagging serious issues with the policing of supporters abroad for years, and years, and years and years, but this is the most high profile example yet of needlessly aggressive policing compounding failures in event management.

We are affiliated to Football Supporters Europe and communication with UEFA goes through their official channels. We’d encourage all supporters who made the trip to Paris to share their experiences via FSE’s Away Fans Survey.

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