PARIS, FRANCE - Saturday, May 28, 2022: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp looks dejected after the UEFA Champions League Final game between Liverpool FC and Real Madrid CF at the Stade de France. Real Madrid won 1-0. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“It was just lies” – Jurgen Klopp praises journalists’ role in findings from CL final

Jurgen Klopp has now responded to the findings from an Independent Panel Inquiry into the events at last season’s Champions League final.

Just hours before the Merseyside derby on Monday night, UEFA’s damning report was finally made public, with Liverpool fans credited for saving lives while UEFA and the French police were condemned for their failings.

Klopp was asked about the report in his post-match press conference, but did not want to comment until he’d had some time to digest the review.

And the Liverpool boss has now expressed his relief after the findings confirmed what everyone knew, that UEFA and the French authorities put so many lives at risk.

“I think it’s super-important that, finally, it’s official, let me say it like this,” Klopp told the club’s official website.

“I’m not sure, at least in my life, there was never a case with more evidence, where I knew more about [it] when I was not directly involved, because I was on the other side of the wall in the stadium, pretty much.

“But families, friends, they were all there and everybody knew how our supporters behaved, but it really feels good, it feels just right that it’s now official and everybody knows it now because there were so many things said after the game, which we knew they were wrong.

“It was just lies. So, I’m really happy that it’s finally said officially.”

Klopp also singled out the role that journalists played in making sure the truth came to light, with many witnessing exactly what Liverpool supporters were being subjected to outside the stadium before and after the game.

“The only good thing in all the bad things that happened there is that many journalists were there in that crowd,” he continued.

“So independent, no Liverpool shirt, just being there and wanting to do their job and they knew exactly that it was wrong as well and I think that helped because otherwise they probably all would have to go through that as well.

2.67216852Stewards check fans tickets at turnstiles during the UEFA Champions League Final at the Stade de France, Paris. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2022.

“I think we were really lucky that not more happened.

“It was a day of, I’m not sure how you say it, but the day of ‘goodwill lies’ – when you have to lie to protect the other person.

“Because we all had messages from our people outside before the game and then the game got delayed, so we started looking at the smartphone again, ‘What’s happening?’ We knew because people couldn’t get in and everybody said, ‘No, I’m fine, I’m fine…’ and nobody was fine. Nobody was fine.

“Then the game started and I heard from people that everybody who was in the stadium was just there and thought, ‘I made it somehow, wow.’

“It was not the mood you are in when you want to watch a Champions League final.”

PARIS, FRANCE - Saturday, May 28, 2022: Liverpool supporters before the UEFA Champions League Final game between Liverpool FC and Real Madrid CF at the Stade de France. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

He finished by thanking the Liverpool fans who were caught up in the chaos for “staying calm” on a night when the football was eventually irrelevant.

“Thank you. Staying calm in a situation where nobody really can stay calm, tear gas in your eyes, pressure from up front, from the side, from behind, being locked in between thousands of people and not pushing like crazy, staying calm, is a massive thing to do and an extremely difficult thing to do,” Klopp added.

“And then getting out of it and getting blamed for that, it’s horrible. It’s really horrible. So there are some jobs to do and I hope they do it properly because these kind of events should be a pure joy to watch.

“You pay a lot of money, it’s a lot of work to qualify, then you go there, everything is a positive mood and in the end you’re just happy to arrive somehow in the stadium when you made it.

“When you hear it first time, you cannot believe it, that that all happened in that time, but it did. So, yes, there’s a lot to improve and I hope everybody learned from it.”