Madrid (AFP) – Real Madrid on Friday demanded an explanation for the way fans were treated at the Champions League final last weekend and said authorities must take responsibility for the ugly scenes in Paris which the club said were “far removed from the values” of the sport.
In the statement published “in defence of supporters”, Madrid asked why the Stade de France was chosen as the venue for the final against Liverpool and asked “who was responsible for leaving the fans helpless and defenceless.”
Some Madrid fans have said they were victims of crime after the match on Saturday, with many reporting being assaulted and robbed outside the stadium.
Before the game, thousands of Liverpool fans with tickets had to wait for hours to enter the ground, with French police using tear gas and pepper spray on crowds.
Some Liverpool supporters said they feared being crushed after small openings were used to filter the queues.
In a statement on Friday, Real Madrid said: “We understand that what should have been a great celebration of football for all the fans who attended the game turned into unfortunate events that have caused deep outrage around the world.
“As has been clearly seen in the revealing images offered by the media, many of the fans were violently assaulted, harassed and robbed.
“Some (of these) events also took place when they were driving in their cars or on buses, fearing for their physical well-being.
“Some of them even had to spend the night in the hospital for injuries received.
“Football has transmitted to the world an image far removed from the values and objectives that it must always pursue.
“Our followers and fans deserve a response and that the relevant responsibilities be taken so that situations like the ones experienced are eradicated forever from football and sport.”
On Wednesday, France’s interior minister Gerald Darmanin rowed back a little on his defence of the handling of the final by police.
He conceded, after increasing pressure with it being reported President Emmanuel Macron was furious with him over the damage to France’s image, that “clearly things could have been organised better.”
However, Liverpool’s CEO Billy Hogan was far from satisfied with his concession.
“My response to the French minister’s comments again, as I said earlier in the week, is just one of disbelief frankly,” Hogan told the Liverpool website on Thursday.
“The pain, the grief, the harm, the hurt that they suffered on Saturday, and now to be told by a French minister that only Liverpool fans have been a problem, it’s just disgraceful.”
UEFA, football’s governing body in Europe, has commissioned an independent report into what happened at the game.
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