Paris police chief Didier Lallement has apologized for authorizing the use of tear gas on the football fans who came to watch the UEFA Champions League match between Liverpool and Real Madrid on May 28, 2022.
The Champions League final which took place at Stade de France in Paris was delayed for over 30 minutes because most of the spectators were not able to gain access to the stadium.
Then, it was speculated that the spectators who were mostly Liverpool supporters arrived at the stadium with fake match tickets and some without tickets. The Paris police claimed that 40,000 supporters were at the match venue without tickets.
Video evidence showed that the Paris police used teargas on the fans and locked them outside the match venue for a prolonged period. Some of the verifiable ticket holders were said to be part of those who suffered from the misconduct of the Paris police.
UEFA had earlier apologized to Liverpool and Real Madrid as the Spanish club confirmed days after the final which they won 1-0, that some of their supporters that traveled from Spain to France, were also victims of the ill-treatment just like Liverpool fans.
The European football governing body has since set a review committee to look into the matter. Also, the French legislative body is reviewing the issues surrounding the Champions League final.
Speaking at the French Senate on Thursday, June 9, 2022, Paris police chief Didier Lallement regretted that he permitted the policemen on the ground to use teargas on the spectators, adding that he should have employed other means to handle the situation.
The Paris police chief admitted that the conduct of the police was “obviously a failure. It was a failure because people were pushed around and attacked. It was a failure because the image of the country was undermined.”
On the alleged 40,000 supporters that arrived at the stadium without tickets, the police chief added: “The figure has no scientific virtue but it came from feedback from police and public transport officials. Maybe I was wrong, but it was constructed from all the information harvested.
“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.”
Meanwhile, Liverpool football club and Real Madrid are expected to meet with the UEFA review panel separately in the coming days over the plights of the supporters at the Stade de France.
The outcome of the ongoing review might lead to France being sanctioned by UEFA and supporters who were victims of the misconduct of the Paris police might be compensated.