Champions League final chaos: Liverpool fans wrongly blamed; string of errors in French handling, says report

A French inquiry into the security fiasco at the Champions League final in May has found that it was caused by a string of administrative errors.

Liverpool fans were initially blamed for the authorities’ failures to handle large crowds arriving at the stadium.

Liverpool fans were initially blamed for the authorities’ failures to handle large crowds arriving at the stadium. | Photo Credit: AFP

A French inquiry into the security fiasco at the Champions League final in May has found that it was caused by a string of administrative errors.

A French Senate enquiry into chaotic scenes at the Champions League final in May in Paris concluded that the problems were caused by a "string of dysfunctions" in the organisation rather than Liverpool supporters, as claimed by the government.

"These dysfunctions were at every level, not only during the implementation (during the game) but also during preparations in advance," the co-chair of the enquiry Laurent Lafon told reporters at a press conference on Wednesday.

The "dysfunctions" included a failure to anticipate how supporters would arrive at the stadium due to a transport strike, inadequate instructions and the use of police checkpoints that caused pressure points on the way to the game.

The fact-finding mission led by two senators has heard from witnesses since the Liverpool-Real Madrid game on May 28, which was marred by a delayed kick-off, crushes, teargas and street crime.

The enquiry discounted the issue of fake tickets, the late arrival of supporters at the stadium, or the presence of thousands of fans without tickets as the main causes.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin had suggested all of these as factors to explain the fiasco, which was a national embarrassment for France.

"It's not the number of people around the stadium that is the cause of these dysfunctions," Lafon added.

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