Real Madrid have asked for an explanation from France after stating that supporters were left “abandoned and defenceless” at the UEFA Champions League final.
The Spanish club’s appeal came just six days after scuffles and pepper spray being deployed on fans outside the Stade de France in suburban Paris, where the Spanish team went on to defeat Liverpool 1-0.
“We call for answers and explanations in order to determine those responsible for leaving the fans abandoned and defenceless,” a statement read. “Fans who in general terms showed exemplary conduct at all times.”
Liverpool had already complained about the organisers shortly after the final. Real Madrid has now questioned whether Paris ought to host the final after St. Petersburg was stripped of the honour over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“We would like to know the reasons that led to this venue being chosen to host the final,” the club said in a statement, “and the criteria, given the experiences of the day.”
Real Madrid is as incensed as Liverpool over the crowd control tactics deployed after the game. A “wonderful festival of football”, the club said, “quickly turned into a series of unfortunate events which caused outrage around the world.”
It also noted “revealing” images published in the media that appeared to show several supporters being “attacked, harassed, assaulted and robbed”.
French authorities said the problems after the match occurred because police officers were moved closer to the stadium gates to help disperse fans, leaving other areas without surveillance.
Liverpool says it has collected more than 5,000 testimonies from supporters who travelled to Paris and witnessed the carnage, many of whom, it said, had been treated “indiscriminately”.
According to the French Football Federation (FFF), 35,000 people who made their way to the Stade de France did so either without tickets or with “fake” tickets, blocking other fans’ access. Among those caught in the ensuing crowd were children.
UEFA says it has also started to gather evidence about the way the Champions League final was managed.