Liverpool fans stuck outside the ground show their match tickets during the UEFA Champions League Final at the Stade de France, Paris. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2022.

French government admit “multiple failures” at Champions League final

A French government report into the problems at the Champions League final last month has highlighted “multiple failures” in the management of the crowd in Paris.

Having initially blamed ticketless Liverpool fans for the chaotic and worrying scenes that saw supporters corralled and teargassed outside the Stade De France ahead of their clash with Real Madrid, police chief Didier Lallement conceded earlier this week the operation had been a failure.

He also admitted he had no evidence for previous claims that up to 40,000 Liverpool fans without tickets or with forged tickets had descended on the stadium.

The 30-page government report, which was released on Friday, came to different conclusions, instead focusing on systemic failures and “the presence of malevolent individuals” in the vicinity of the stadium.

Large numbers of Liverpool fans have reported being attacked and having possessions stolen outside the ground.

Liverpool fans cover their mouths and noses as they queue to gain entry to the Stade de France (Peter Byrne)

The report read: “The dysfunction was the result of, despite careful preparation, multiple failures in the guiding and the management of the crowd, in the insufficient communications between the RATP (transport operator) and the PC (public order body), in the lack of suitable routes to the ground, in the lack of coordination and failed dialogue between all parties when it came to recognising the warning signs in terms of the presence of malevolent individuals who assembled in large numbers near the stadium to commit delinquent acts.”

The report also set out five recommended steps to avoid similar incidents in the future.

Paris is due to host the Rugby World Cup next year and the Olympics in 2024.

The recommendations include: setting up a dedicated government body to oversee major sporting events, a flexible system of crowd control and optimising the management of routes to major events, a more secure ticket system and a modernised traffic system around the Stade De France.

Kick-off for the Champions League final was twice pushed back because of the problems getting fans into the stadium.

The report reveals that 2,700 Liverpool fans with valid tickets did not make it into the stadium. They will have the cost of their tickets reimbursed.

Liverpool CEO Billy Hogan revealed the club had not been asked for any input into the report and said on “We’re obviously going to take some time to fully digest it.

“We do want to make sure – and I’ll be picking this up with UEFA – to find out if these findings are going to be used in the UEFA independent review.”

UEFA appointed Portuguese politician Dr Tiago Brandao Rodrigues to carry out an investigation into what happened in Paris but Liverpool are seeking further assurances before agreeing he is the right person to lead the inquiry.

Hogan said: “We did have a call with Dr Rodrigues yesterday, with UEFA and Real Madrid also on the call, and it was a very initial first call, so there’s a number of outstanding details that we need to understand, and that’s what ourselves and Real Madrid will be working on with UEFA and Dr Rodrigues in the days ahead.

“I keep saying this, but we just need to be satisfied that this is going to be a thorough, independent and transparent investigation.”

Hogan described an admission by the French Football Federation that CCTV footage from the night has been deleted as “deeply concerning”.

“We have formally contacted UEFA to confirm whether or not that’s the case, so we’re waiting to hear back specifically on that,” he said. “And we’re also working to make sure, through the relevant authorities to put requests in, that all evidence related to events around the final are retained.”

Liverpool have also put resources into mental health support for fans affected by the night’s events.