The French sports minister has apologized to Liverpool fans for the chaotic Paris final and admits it was similar to the Hillsborough tragedy.
Both Real Madrid and Liverpool played against each the in Stade De France on May 28. In a close contest, Madrid came away with a narrow win.
But the highlight of the game was the delay that led to the game underway 40 minutes delay. Later the UEFA described the situation as ‘security reasons.
Videos have since emerged of many fans being funneled into small passages. Moreover, the fans found themselves tear-gassed by French police while they waited outside the ground.
However, reacting to the event, the French government blamed the issue on Liverpool fans, who they claimed turned up holding counterfeit tickets.
Later, Liverpool chairman Tom Werner wrote to voice his utter disbelief at the comments from Oudea-Castera. He went on to describe the remarks as being ‘irresponsible, unprofessional and wholly disrespectful to the thousands of fans.
Now, French Sports minister Amelie Oudea-Castera conceded there were ‘several successive failures’ by the French authorities around the stadium. Also, a 30-page report commissioned by the French prime minister accepted that there were 1,644 fake tickets in the Liverpool contingent and an overall total of 2,589.
Clearly, the operational failure of French authority led to the fiasco, in which Liverpool supporters the most.
The Fiasco was compared to the painful memories of Hillsborough by the French minister.
As seen by the Times‘ Martyn Ziegler, Oudéa-Castéra has sent a letter to Liverpool chairman Tom Werner. The French Sports minister has made a delayed apology to Reds supporters.
First and foremost, I would like to sincerely apologise to the Liverpool fans whose evening was ruined,” she wrote.
We are conscious of the fact that many of them came from far away, often with their family and sometimes even young children, to support their team and attend a memorable game of football.
We regret that some of them had to witness scenes that have no place at all at a sporting event, all the more so as we are aware that it may have brought back particularly painful memories from your club’s history.
Oudea-Castera also assures Liverpool chiefs that an investigation has taken place by the French authorities. Furthermore, it would delve into how the situation spiraled out of control and make sure it will never happen again.