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“Criminal assault”: Verdict of report on police treatment of fans at Champions League final | Liverpool


An independent report by leading academics on May’s chaos Champions League recent claims police treatment of fans “constituted criminal assault”.

The report also said UEFA’s “flagrant failures” had left thousands of fans stuck in heavy traffic jams on the approaches to the Stade de France, with those who reached the ground forced to cling to the perimeter fence as ticketing problems and turnstiles caused huge bottlenecks.

A fan at the Liverpool v Real Madrid the games were also attacked by local gangs, and Paris police used tear gas against fans waiting to enter the venue and against those in the fan zone several miles away.

The group is led by Professor Phil Scranton, who also led the independent Hillsborough panel into the 1989 disaster, which killed 97 Liverpool fans were killed and was an advocate for the injured families, prepared a report based on 485 eyewitness accounts – two-thirds of which mentioned fearing for their lives.

The report said: “The police’s persistent, random attacks on fans and the unprovoked use of tear gas on men, women and children who were confined to closed spaces were reckless and dangerous. This constituted criminal assault.

“The hostility of the police before the match (in the fan zone and on the approach to the stadium), during (in the stadium) and after (in the stadium, train stations and in the city) demonstrated a collective mindset that led to violations of the criminal law. the right

“At the Stade de France, there have been flagrant failures in all aspects of UEFA’s responsibility for stadium security. Persistent crowd control failures have seriously compromised the health and well-being of fans.

“It is clear from the fans’ statements that they were put at risk by aggressive policing, ineffective security measures and the failure to implement comprehensive stadium security management plans based on risk management principles.

“Based on their understanding and first-hand experience of the Hillsborough disaster, Liverpool fans acted collectively to prevent a fatal tragedy.”

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The report said the organization of the final showed a lack of coordination between the actors involved and revealed “numerous glitches”.

“It is difficult to understand the sequence of events that led to the disaster in Paris, which left so many people physically injured, psychologically harmed and financially threatened,” said Scranton, an emeritus professor at King’s College Belfast School of Law.

“Men, women and children have been subjected to unprovoked, indiscriminate violence by the police, including tear gas and batons, along with knife robberies by local gangs.

“Many left before the match, those who remained were subjected to further attacks by riot police and gangs on exiting the stadium and arriving at local train stations. The responsibility for the collapse of authority, governance and security rests with those who organize and manage the event.”

UEFA’s independent report into the events is due to be published next month and will not comment on the subject until it is published.


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