‘Virtually all our families were affected’ – Liverpool’s Andy Robertson on Champions League chaos

Liverpool defender Andy Robertson has criticized the way fans were treated by French police during the Champions League final after tear gas was used on those detained outside the Stade de France.

hundreds of supporters missed the kick-off against Real Madrid, which was delayed by 36 minutes due to worrying congestion issues that left large numbers trapped around the perimeter for two to three hours.

But more concerning was the way the authorities chose to handle the situation.

French police inside the fence used tear gas on fans outside after Gate Y, one of the two main gates on a narrow walkway that 20,000 supporters tried to access, was closed for up to an hour leading up to kick-off. to the growing frustration of fans queuing to get in and being delayed by ticket scanning and security screening issues.

Revealing that many of the players’ families and friends were involved in the scenes, Robertson said: “You have to have some sympathy as this was thrown on Paris at the last minute with everything that happened to Russia (the match was moved ) from Saint Petersburg after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February).

“But as a UEFA competition it is the biggest game in world football and should be much better organised.

“Things like that should not happen and certainly the violence used by certain authorities should not happen.

“Virtually all of our families were affected I think. I can only speak on behalf of my family and all I know is that everyone is safe and that is my number one priority. I hope all fans are safe.”

Liverpool are said to be furious at UEFA’s “totally inaccurate” initial accusation of the delayed start to fans’ late arrivals and have requested an official inquiry.

European football’s governing body later said in a statement that the fault lay with “thousands of fans who bought fake tickets that didn’t work at the turnstiles”.

The prefecture of the Paris police then issued their own statement claiming that people without tickets or forgeries “applied strong pressure to enter the fence”, resulting in the delayed entry.

But that didn’t line up with the countless stories of fans getting caught up in the mess and what Robertson himself had told.

“My tickets were through the club and someone told one of my friends that he had a fake ticket, and I assure you it wasn’t because it was clearly through me,” he said.

“Then, of course, the French police decided to throw tear gas at fans and families. It was not well organised.”

Supporter group Spirit of Shankly described the scenes as “totally chaotic and extremely dangerous.”

And the problems didn’t stop there for fans, as after the 1-0 defeat, many were reportedly attacked and robbed by local youths on the 10-minute walk back to train stations.

Former Liverpool defender and now television connoisseur Jim Beglin said people were walking “a gauntlet of violence”.

“After the game last night was the scariest I’ve ever experienced,” he wrote on Twitter.

Organized gangs started robbing departing fans. We got a gauntlet of thugs on the way to the subway. Not a police officer in sight.

“Witnessed so many ambush attacks on unsuspecting attendees. Reprehensible @UEFA.”

Merseyside Police, who had deployed officers in Paris to act as observers and advisers, said the majority of fans had behaved “exemplary”, arrived early at the turnstile and lined up as directed.

They said those officers would submit their comments to the relevant authorities for the debriefing.

Assistant Chief Constable Chris Green said: “We know that people would have witnessed many disturbing scenes last night and we wish everyone returning from Paris a safe journey. Our focus today will be on supporting Liverpool City Council with the oversight of the homecoming parade.”

Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston tweeted: “We are very concerned about the disturbing scenes around the Stade de France last night and will be working with the appropriate authorities to find out what happened and why.”

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