The aftermath from Saturday’s events at the Stade de France continues, with Reds supporters striking back against the governing body
The fallout from Saturday’s Champions League final continues, with Spirit of Shankly, the Liverpool supporters’ union, condemning the “false narrative” put forward by UEFA in the aftermath of chaotic pre-match scenes.
Meanwhile, Richard Bouigue, the deputy mayor of Paris’ 12th arrondissement, has praised Reds fans for their conduct and behavior ahead of the game, while calling for a “serious and thorough” investigation into the French authorities in charge of protecting attendees.
UEFA has already announced that it will commission an independent inquiry into events outside the Stade de France, in which fans were caught up in crushes and subjected to tear gas and pepper spray attacks from police prior to kick off, before suffering attacks and intimidation at the hands of local gangs afterwards.
What have Liverpool’s supporters’ union said?
On Tuesday evening, Spirit of Shankly issued a statement entitled ‘No More Lies’, in which it slammed the “shameful, false accusations” made against supporters since Saturday, and promised to continue to work to “bring those responsible to account.”
It read: “From the moment UEFA displayed the message on the giant screens inside Stade de France on Saturday [that] ‘due to the late arrival of fans, the match has been delayed’, we knew what was happening. The false narrative had begun.
“UEFA and the French authorities quickly changed tack to say actually it was because of fans turning up without tickets. European football’s governing body had apparently been given this information by local media and ran with it. Not for a second did they think to check its validity.
“Even before the game had kicked off, the blame shift was underway. UEFA, the French authorities and media excuse machines in overdrive. But with supporters witnessing what was happening, and the power of social media they were quickly exposed. So the narrative changed to ticket forgeries. Another shameful lie.
“The chaos and mismanagement of Saturday was a prime example of UEFA and the local authorities’ failure to prepare.”
It added: “We have seen UEFA crumble and agree to a first ever independent inquiry, strategically shifting away from the French authorities.
“The French people and some of the media are exposing the lies and mistruths of their own government ministers, even calling for resignations. SOS have received many powerful testimonies from our members and we know events on Saturday were shambolic and deeply traumatising for many.
“We owe all LFC fans, in fact all football fans, a strong and robust challenge to those who created that situation and followed it by perpetrating lies. We are doing that and, significantly, our messages are being heard. The tide is turning and fans are becoming the solution and not the problem.
“We will continue over the coming weeks, for however long it takes, to work to bring those responsible to account.”
What has the deputy mayor of France’s 12th arrondissement said?
In a letter sent to Spirit of Shankly, Bouigue said that the Liverpool fan park, at Cours de Vincennes in the 12th arrondissement, had been a success, due largely to the “good cooperation, good mood and good behavior” of Reds supporters, both on site and in the surrounding areas.
“You were able to reassure everyone,” he wrote, “to bring a neighborhood to life, to animate it with your songs, your enthusiasm and good mood. I wanted to thank you sincerely for that. ”
Bouigue, who had closely linked with Liverpool and local authorities over the organization of the fan park, which he said had attracted around 45,000 supporters on Saturday afternoon, went on to express his “deep regret” at the situation faced by fans at the Stade de France, and criticized the “lack of maintenance of order” which had led to the chaos.
He added: “We owe you – and ourselves as well – a serious and thorough investigation, to be carried out in the next few days, involving representatives of the Liverpool supporters and the competent English authorities.
“All light must be shed, the responsibilities identified, and improvements made so that this type of chaos, which must have revived the Hillsborough tragedy for many fans, never happens again.
“A football match must always be a celebration.”