London (AFP) – Liverpool have received more than 5,000 complaints from supporters in 24 hours regarding the chaos surrounding Saturday’s Champions League final, according to club chief executive Billy Hogan.
Reds supporters were tear-gassed and pepper-sprayed by police as they gathered in large and slow-moving queues prior to the showpiece match at the Stade de France, which led to the kick-off being delayed by over half an hour.
French interior minister Gerald Darmanin claimed as many as 70 percent of tickets were found to be fraudulent by staff at the first security checkpoints outside the ground.
But sources within European football governing body UEFA and the French football federation told AFP on Tuesday that only 2,800 fake tickets were detected at the entrance gates of the stadium, suggesting the problem was more about managing flows of supporters outside the ground.
UEFA initially blamed the late arrival of fans for the problems, which included some supporters being crushed, before later issuing a statement referring to fake tickets as the cause ahead of a match Spanish giants Real won 1-0.
But the official version of events has been repeatedly challenged on social media by fans and independent journalists
Hogan has now called on UEFA to include the evidence of Liverpool supporters fans submitted to the Merseyside club’s website in their independent review.
“The form has been on our website for just over 24 hours and we have had over 5,000 forms completed and submitted, which is really astounding,” Hogan told Liverpool’s website.
“Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to submit their experiences.
“I’m horrified by the way some men, women, children — some able-bodied, some less able-bodied – have been indiscriminately treated over the course of Saturday.”
He added: “I think we’ve all seen videos, photos, I’ve read a number of stories of absolutely horrific experiences leaving the stadium as well — crimes being committed, muggings taking place.
“Nobody should experience what our fans experienced both before or after the match.
“In our minds, obviously this is wholly unacceptable.”
Hogan said Premier League powerhouse Liverpool were trying to help fans who were most severely affected by the trouble before and after the game.
“We’re aware there were many fans who were injured on Saturday evening and we’ve asked UEFA for their match day log, which includes any medical incidents for the night, so we can reach out to those supporters and families to help if we can,” he said.
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