Merseyside Police issue statement after Liverpool fans sprayed by tear gas at Champions League final

Liverpool have demanded an investigation to be launched after fans were sprayed with tear gas before the Champions League final in Paris.

Merseyside Police officers on duty in Paris for Liverpool’s Champions League against Real Madrid have called conditions the worst ‘ever worked or experienced’ at a European match.

Thousands of Kopites trying to enter the Stade de France had tear gas sprayed at them - including children - during long delays.

Kick-off was delayed by 36 minutes, although some supporters did not get inside the stadium until the second half.

The Reds lost 1-0 to Madrid in a bid for a seventh European Cup.

Uefa claimed that the long queues were caused by supporters who attempted to enter the Stade de France with fake tickets that did not work at the turnstiles.

Liverpool have now called for a formal investigation to be launched.

What’s been said

Officers from Merseyside Police who travelled to the French capital and were present at the scene have taken to Twitter to describe what they saw - and believe fans’ behaviour was ‘exemplary’ given the ‘shocking circumstances’.

A tweet from @MerPolLFC said: “MERPOL was deployed to this evening’s match. Can only describe it as the worst European match I’ve ever worked or experienced. I thought the behaviour of the fans at the turnstiles was exemplary in shocking circumstances. You were not late 100%.”

The force later issued an official statement on the incidents in Paris and reiterated that the vast majority of fans behaved in an exemplary manner.

Assistant Chief Constable Chris Green said: “We are aware of a number of reports relating to incidents both before and after last night’s Champions League Final at the Stade de France in Paris.

“We are also aware that Liverpool FC have requested a formal investigation from UEFA and we will be linking in with both the club, UEFA and the UK Football Policing Unit to pass on the observations of our officers who attended the game and took part in the pre-match meetings with the relevant authorities.

“As with all European matches officers from Merseyside were deployed in France to work in an observatory and advisory capacity with the local officers, and they have reported the vast majority of fans behaved in an exemplary manner, arriving at turnstiles early and queuing as directed and their observations will be passed on to the relevant authorities as part of the debrief for the game.

“Many thousands of fans have travelled throughout this season to matches across Europe and we have worked closely with our supporter groups, the Club and European hosts to ensure that the matches passed without incident and fans were kept safe. Our officers returning today will conduct a formal debrief to ensure that we can fully support any subsequent investigation following last night’s game.

“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.”

What have Liverpool said

A Liverpool statement said: “We are hugely disappointed at the stadium entry issues and breakdown of the security perimeter that Liverpool fans faced this evening at Stade de France.

“This is the greatest match in European football and supporters should not have to experience the scenes we have witnessed tonight. We have officially requested a formal investigation into the causes of these unacceptable issues.”

What have Uefa said

A Uefa statement said: ““In the lead-up to the game, the turnstiles at the Liverpool end became blocked by thousands fans who had purchased fake tickets which did not work in the turnstiles.

“This created a build-up of fans trying to get in. As a result, the kick off was delayed by 35 minutes to allow as many fans as possible with genuine tickets to gain access.

“As numbers outside the stadium continued to build up after kick off, the police dispersed them with tear gas and forced them away from the stadium.

“Uefa is sympathetic to those affected by these events and will further review these matters urgently together with the French police and authorities, and with the French Football Federation.”