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Football-Liverpool president demands apology for French minister’s comments

Liverpool chairman Tom Werner has demanded an apology from the French sports minister after he said fans with fake tickets and the club’s handling of their supporters were responsible for the problems that marred the Champions League final Saturday champions.

The match at the Stade de France, which Real Madrid won 1-0, was delayed for more than half an hour after police tried to hold off people trying to push their way through the ground. Some fans, including children, were gassed by French riot police. On Monday, Sports Minister Amélie Oudea-Castera said the initial problems were caused by Liverpool fans without valid tickets and accused the club of leaving supporters “in the wild”.

French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin added that there had been “massive (ticket) fraud on an industrial scale”. Werner hit back late Monday in a letter to Oudea-Castera, describing his comments as “irresponsible, unprofessional and totally disrespectful” to the fans concerned.

“The UEFA Champions League final is expected to be one of the greatest spectacles in world sport, and instead it turned into one of the worst security meltdowns in recent memory,” Werner said. to the Liverpool Echo newspaper. “On behalf of all the fans who have experienced this nightmare, I ask for your apologies and the assurance that the French authorities and UEFA allow an independent and transparent investigation to continue.”

UEFA have commissioned an independent investigation into the incident while Oudea-Castera said they would produce a report within 10 days. In an interview on Liverpool’s website, CEO Billy Hogan said they were also considering the legal options available to them on behalf of their supporters.

Hogan said later on Tuesday that the club had received more than 5,000 responses after asking affected fans to fill out a form as they searched for evidence. “I spent some time during the day reviewing some of the information and honestly am horrified at how some men, women, children – able-bodied, less-abled – were treated indiscriminately over the course of Saturday” , Hogan said.

“It’s also important that we don’t lose sight of what happened after the game. We’ve all seen videos, photos, I’ve also read a number of stories of absolutely horrific experiences leaving the stadium – of crimes committed, assaults take place.”

Hogan said he also asked UEFA for his logbook to review recorded medical incidents so they could contact those respective supporters.

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)