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UK police defend ‘model’ Liverpool fans tear-gassed by French bullies

Police watch the crowd during the UEFA Champions League final match at the Stade de France in Paris. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2022. PA Photo. See PA Story SOCCER Final. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use is subject to restrictions. Editorial use only, no commercial use without the prior consent of the rights holder.

Police watch the crowd in Liverpool during the Champions League final at the Stade de France (Image: PA)

Merseyside Police have defended “model” Liverpool fans at the Champions League final after they were tear-gassed by French officers.

A spokesman described the violent clashes in Paris as the “worst” they had seen at a European football game after the Reds lost 1-0 to Real Madrid.

Shambolic scenes outside the stadium saw fans with tickets waiting in huge lines for the game to start.

Some fans were filmed jumping over the turnstiles amid the chaos, while police officers “unprovoked” pepper sprayed others while waiting to be admitted.

Read more: The true story of the UEFA Champions League final carnage suffered by Liverpool fans in Paris at the hands of ‘French bullies’

Uefa said the delay was caused by the late arrival of Liverpool fans, but the club said that was “completely inaccurate”.

A spokesman for Merseyside Police said: “MERPOL has been deployed for tonight’s game.

“I can only describe it as the worst European game I have ever played or experienced.

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PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 28: Police spray tear gas at Liverpool fans in front of the stadium as the fans cheer prior to the UEFA Champions League Final match between Liverpool FC and Real Madrid at Stade de France on May 28, 2022 in Paris, France to fight for entry. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

Police spray tear gas at Liverpool fans outside the stadium (Image: Getty)

Soccer Football - Champions League Final - Liverpool v Real Madrid - Stade de France, Saint-Denis near Paris, France - May 28, 2022 A fan is restrained by a police officer and a steward at the turnstiles inside the stadium as the game is delayed REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

A Liverpool fan is jostled by police as he attempts to enter through the gate while holding a ticket (Image: Reuters)

Soccer Football - Champions League Final - Liverpool v Real Madrid - Stade de France, Saint-Denis near Paris, France - May 28, 2022 A police officer gestures as fans wait at the turnstiles inside the stadium as the match is postponed REUTERS/ Kai Pfaffenbach

Liverpool fans have to wait at the turnstiles before the game (Image: Reuters)

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“I found the behavior of the fans at the turnstiles in shocking circumstances exemplary. You weren’t 100% late.’

Fans berated armed police in the area as they left, saying their tactics led to the chaos.

The Prefecture de Police, the Paris police force, said in a statement that queues formed after fans arrived without tickets.

It continued: “These supporters applied intense pressure to enter the enclosure and delayed access to ticketed spectators.

“Using this action, a number of people managed to cross the gates protecting the stadium perimeter.

This shot, taken from AFP video, shows fans climbing over the fence of the Stade de France ahead of the UEFA Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, north of Paris May 28, 2022. (Photo by Maryam EL HAMOUCHI/AFP) (Photo by MARYAM EL HAMOUCHI/AFP via Getty Images)

Fans climb over the fence of the Stade de France ahead of the Champions League final (Image: AFP)

Thousands of Liverpool fans in a fan zone in Paris ahead of the UEFA Champions League final at the Stade de France. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story SPORT Liverpool. Photo credit should read: Jacob King/PA Wire

Thousands of Liverpool fans in a fan zone in Paris ahead of the final (Image: PA)

“The rapid intervention of the police allowed the return to calm and the evacuation of the troublemakers outside the forecourt of the Stade de France.

“The diversification of the spectators occurs without any problems. No major incident was observed in the two fan zones.’

French government officials also blamed the traveling British fans.

Sport Minister Amelie Oudea-Castera wrote on Twitter: “The attempted break-ins and fraud by thousands of English fans have complicated the work of stewards and police forces but will not spoil (Real Madrid’s) victory.

“Violence has no place in the stadiums.”

A supporter was heard saying they had to wait four hours outside with a ticket because of the delays.

This footage, taken from AFP video, shows police intervening as fans climb over the fence of the Stade de France ahead of the UEFA Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, north of Paris in January 2022. (Photo by Maryam EL HAMOUCHI/AFP) (Photo by MARYAM EL HAMOUCHI/AFP via Getty Images)

Riot police push a Liverpool fan holding a sign in front of the Stade de France (Image: AFP)

After the game, Robbie, 24, said: “I was pepper sprayed, this is the first time this has happened to me.

“It wasn’t provoked, people just stood there and waved for the police to let us in, we had tickets.

“The police just sprayed us for no reason, even children and the elderly, it was bad.”

He said fans did not behave inappropriately at the time.

Some Liverpool fans quarreled with Real Madrid supporters and locals outside the stadium after the game.

Footage on social media appeared to show people scrambling over barriers as crowds built and kick-off was delayed by more than 30 minutes.

Shortly after 8 p.m., police had moved into the area with shields and riot gear.

Supporters appeared to show tickets to officers after a gate was closed and denied them entry.

Bottles were thrown at the officers, who responded with tear gas, causing some fans to lock their eyes.

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https://metro.co.uk/2022/05/29/uk-police-defend-exemplary-liverpool-fans-tear-gassed-by-french-bullies-16730874/ UK police defend 'model' Liverpool fans tear-gassed by French bullies

Justin Scacco

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