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Liverpool disabled fans were treated like ‘animals’

police at Paris stadium
police at Paris stadium Image credit: fpl360.com

An inquiry into the chaos which took place at last month’s Champions League final has been told French police treated disabled fans ‘like animals’.

The investigation heard how one football supporter had to be lifted over locked gates to escape the chaotic incident.

French police used tear gas and pepper spray on Liverpool fans as they formed a long queue outside the Paris stadium for the delayed match on 28 May.

After the game French minister Gérald Darmanin said it was only the Liverpool fans who caused problems leading up to the game.

On Tuesday, Ted Morris, chairman of the Liverpool Disabled Supporters Association, addressed the minister’s accusations saying: "With my wife, we love France and Paris, but you, Mr Darmanin, you lied and I ask you to withdraw your accusation.

"And if you have the decency to do so, I hope you have the decency to resign."

An eight-year-old boy was also caught up in the brutality when he was attacked after being reunited with his father.

Morris said: "A major catastrophe has been avoided. No power was able to come to the aid of the disabled supporters.

"Disabled fans were treated like animals.

"My wife and I did not care about the game any more at this stage."

He added: "We left in the 86th minute and the steward told us we couldn't get out because some locals were still trying to go into the stadium.

"In the underpass - at the exit of the stadium under the gaze of the police, a few minutes later - locals attacked us and it was terrifying, especially for the disabled supporters.

"As we walked towards the station we hoped that the police would intervene.

"It was the worst football experience."

 Joe Blott, chairman of the Spirit of Shankly supporters’ group put the blame on the police saying spraying tear gas on supporters was “not necessary”.

He hopes lessons have been learnt ahead of next year’s Rugby World Cup in France and the 2024 Olympic Games set to be staged in Paris.

Blott said: "We demand an apology and a retraction of the lies being told and for the supporters who will be travelling to the Rugby World Cup and to the Olympics, a fair investigation."

A French government report previously said a chain of failures had marred the event.