‘Our fans were victims’ – Real Madrid demand answers for Stade de France Champions League final chaos

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The Blancos have released a statement asking for “explanations that determine who was responsible for leaving the fans helpless and defenceless”

Real Madrid have demanded answers from authorities for the Champions League final chaos at Stade de France “in defense of our supporters who were victims” of the poor organization.

Madrid beat Liverpool 1-0 in the showpiece event on May 28 thanks to a second-half goal from Vinicius Junior, landing Europe’s most prestigious prize for a record-extending 14th time.

The contest was marred by dangerous events outside of the stadium, though, with the original kick-off time delayed by 30 minutes after a large number of fans forced their way in without tickets.

What have Madrid said about the chaos at Stade de France?

Police used tear gas and pepper spray on supporters left stranded outside the venue despite having valid matchday passes as others were seen jumping the barriers to gain entry.

Madrid have released an official statement asking for a full explanation for the ugly scenes, which reads: “In light of the unfortunate events which took place on the 28th of May in the surroundings of and at access points to the Stade de France, and even inside the stadium itself, Real Madrid CF wishes to express the following in defense of our fans, who were victim to said events.

“We would like to know the reasons which led to this venue being chosen to host the final and the criteria used, taking into account the experiences of the day.

“Furthermore, we call for answers and explanations in order to determine those responsible for leaving the fans abandoned and defenceless. Fans who in general terms showed exemplary conduct at all times.

“We believe something which should have been a wonderful festival of football for all fans who attended the game, quickly turned into a series of unfortunate events which have caused a sense of outrage around the world.

“As was evident in the revealing images published by the media, several fans were attacked, harassed, assaulted and robbed in violent fashion. These occurrences continued as they moved in their cars or busses, causing concern for their physical wellbeing. Certain fans even had to spend the night in hospital as a result of injuries.

“Football has transmitted an image to the world which is far away from the values ​​and goals which it should pursue.

“Our fans and supporters deserve a response and those responsible to be held accountable in order for events like these to be eradicated from football and sport in general.”

How has UEFA responded?

Liverpool have also been outspoken in their criticism of the organization of the final, with club chairman Tom Werner demanding an apology from the French government for failing to acknowledge the “incredibly dangerous” set-up.

UEFA initially blamed the supporters that tried to get into Stade de France without tickets for the disorder, but European football’s main governing body has since commissioned an independent review.

An official statement said that the “decision making, responsibility and behaviors of all entities involved in the final” will all be thoroughly examined before any further steps are taken.

View from Liverpool correspondent Neil Jones

It may have taken them a while, but Real Madrid’s ‘comunicado oficial’ debunks, once and for all, the myth that the problems at the Stade de France were limited solely to Liverpool supporters.

Those of us present at the stadium – myself included – already knew this. We had seen the videos and heard first-hand accounts from fans.

Whichever end of the ground you were sat in, the issues were similar; long, tightly-packed queues, inadequate ticket checkpoints, heavy-handed policing and the lingering threat of gangs of youths around the stadium perimeter.

Both before and after the game, fans were left fearing for their safety. Unacceptable, at the biggest game in European club football.

For those supporters to then be held responsible by politicians simply added insult to injury. This is not a club-specific issue, it is a matter of security and safety, and one which supporters of all clubs should be united behind.

Billy Hogan, the Liverpool chief executive, has been in contact with his Madrid counterparts all week, keen to foster a more united approach as answers are sought from both UEFA and the French authorities.

Liverpool, it should also be pointed out, have concerns about the man appointed to head UEFA ” independent ‘report into the final.

Dr Tiago Brandao Rodrigues will lead the inquiry, but there are fears that he may have links with UEFA through his close work with Tiago Craveiro, the former chief executive of the Portuguese Football Federation, who now acts as a senior adviser to UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin .

It is clear, given the performances this week of Gerald Darmanin, the French interior minister, and Amelie Oudea-Castera, the sports minister, that a long battle lies ahead for supporters, many of whom are still coming to terms with the events of last weekend.

Liverpool say more than 6,500 fans have submitted online forms detailing their experiences, and have pledged financial support to various mental health organizations, which can be used by supporters. And with Real Madrid now, belatedly, adding their weight to proceedings, the fight for the truth is now gathering even more pace.

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