Paris police chief finally apologises for tear-gassing Liverpool fans at Champions League final

Paris head of police finally apologises for tear-gassing Liverpool fans and admits ‘mistaken’ claims of 40,000 fake tickets causing Champions League final chaos had ‘no scientific value’… but hits out at Jurgen Klopp telling ticketless fans to travel

Paris police chief  has told a Senate Commission the Champions League security operation was a ‘failure’, and apologised for tear gassing fans Didier Lallement appeared at a hearing today to explain what went wrongThe police chief admitted there was ‘no scientific virtue’ to the claim that up to 40,000 tickets for the game were counterfeit – it was concocted fromreports 

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France’s most senior policeman today defended asphyxiating Liverpool football fans including children, saying: ‘The only way was to gas people’.

Didier Lallement, the Paris Police Prefect, made the controversial comments during a parliamentary hearing into the shocking scenes at the European Champions League Final.

Stark images showed vast clouds of tear gas smothering supporters, as riot police sprayed others in the face with pepper spray before the showpiece game against Real Madrid on May 28.

Fans were stuck outside the football ground for two hours  before being hit with tear gas by French police 

‘I’m fully aware that people of good faith were gassed, sometimes even families,’ Mr Lallement told the meeting at the Paris Senate.

But he added: ‘I’m sorry but there were no other means. The only way was to gas people. I asked for gas to be used.’

Lallement said that without the use of tear gas it would have been necessary for officers to charge the crowd to prevent them gaining access to the stadium.

He added: ”I think it would have been a mistake to charge people. It would have been devastating.’ 

Kick-off was delayed as the situation outside the stadium descended into mayhem as French police pepper-sprayed desperate fans as they waited to get inside. 

Riot police hold back fans at the stadium entrance, as supporters complained of a lack of open gates, staff and problems with ticketing that saw some wait for hours to get inside 

Paris police chief Didier Lallement gave evidence about the security operation for the UEFA Champions League final at a Senate hearing in the French capital today

Although Lallement owned up to ‘a failure’ that ‘shook France’s image’, there was no hint of an apology from an officer who is nicknamed ‘Le Top Cop’ in his home country.

And he also took a swipe at Liverpool for encouraging fans to travel without tickets, while returning to his ‘fanciful’ claims that thousands of fake tickets were in circulation.

Until now, there has been no apology from the French authorities who have instead claimed that the carnage was caused by ’30-40,000′ Liverpool supporters turning up with fake tickets.

And in astonishing scenes in front of an angry French Senate, Lallement admitted that figure – heavily contested by the vast majority of those present – had been concocted from reports given by his officers and transport officials.

Paris police chief Didier Lallement criticised Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, suggesting the club encouraged ‘its supporters to come en masse to Paris, even without a ticket.’

‘I was perhaps mistaken’, said Mr Lament, adding: ‘It was obviously a failure because people were jostled and attacked, although we had a duty to keep them safe. It is also a failure because the image of the country has been shaken.’

Questioned further about his claim that up to 40,000 Liverpool fans turned up without genuine tickets, he continued: ‘I never claimed that the figure was perfectly correct but it seemed to reflect the situation around the stadium.’

But he continued to insist that there were ‘far more people’ than the stadium could contain, and that public transport figures backed this up.

He also claimed that thousands of those left outside the crowd with fake tickets were ‘not in sight of CCTV cameras’.

Lallement pleaded with fans who had bought counterfeit tickets in good faith to file criminal lawsuits to ‘help us find those responsible for this massive fraud’. ‘

Gerald Darmanin (right) said filtering out the fake tickets had caused long delays and dangerous crushes for Liverpool fans getting into the Stade de France, after sport minister Amelie Oudea-Castera (left) had blamed the club for the chaos

French officials under fire for chaos at the Champions League final in Paris claimed tens of thousands of fans had turned up with fake tickets, presenting two near-identical passes while claiming one was a forgery (right)

‘The strategic information that was lacking was the massive use of counterfeit tickets,’ said Mr Lallement.

‘It’s true, you can criticise me for that. I was not expecting such a volume of counterfeit tickets.’

It was a week ago that Liverpool fans who attended the Champions League final, which the Reds lost to Real Madrid 1-0, received ‘a sincere apology’ from UEFA for the way they were treated.

But both Lallement and France’s Interior Minister, Gerald Darmanin, maintain that Liverpool fans still have to bear the brunt of the blame for the chaos because they ‘turned up with false or no tickets’.

Lallement also criticised Liverpoo Football Clubl. ‘The Liverpool club did not send the necessary information to the police headquarters concerning the movement of its supporters,’ he said. ‘Even inviting its supporters to come en masse to Paris, even without a ticket.’

In turn, Liverpool FC is demanding a full apology from the French government and the police. 

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