Champions League final 'brought back memories of Hillsborough', says Labour MP

·Breaking News Editor, Yahoo News UK
·4 min read
Soccer Football - Champions League Final - Liverpool v Real Madrid - Stade de France, Saint-Denis near Paris, France - May 28, 2022 Liverpool fans react as they queue to access Stade de France before Champions League Final   REUTERS/Fernando Kallas
Liverpool fans react as they queue to access Stade de France before Champions League Final. (Reuters)

The Champions League final brought back "terrible memories" of the Hillsborough disaster, a Labour MP has said, as the UK government called for an investigation into what happened in Paris.

Liverpool fans - including children and disabled supporters - were teargassed outside the Stade de France on Saturday as they queued to watch their team play against Real Madrid.

There have been calls for an investigation from British MPs amid condemnation of the way the Premier League club’s supporters were treated, with local authorities claiming long delays were caused by some trying to gain entry using “fake” tickets.

Culture minister Chris Philp said on Monday there was “no obvious justification” for the kind of behaviour shown by French police at the game, in which Real Madrid beat Liverpool 1-0.

France's sports minister will meet with UEFA, police and final organisers will meet in the French capital on Monday to discuss what happened.

Amélie Oudéa-Castéra double down on claims that Liverpool fans had false tickets when she spoke to French radio on Monday morning.

“What we really have to bear in mind is that what happened, first of all, was this mass gathering of the British supporters of the Liverpool club, without tickets, or with counterfeit tickets."

She added that “between 30,000 and 40,000” Liverpool fans showed up without valid tickets.

Soccer Football - Champions League Final - Liverpool v Real Madrid - Stade de France, Saint-Denis near Paris, France - May 28, 2022 Liverpool fans react as they queue to access Stade de France before Champions League Final   REUTERS/Fernando Kallas
Jade Pearce, 47, and his son Maxwell, 11, were among those caught in the fracas. (Reuters)
Soccer Football - Champions League Final - Liverpool v Real Madrid - Stade de France, Saint-Denis near Paris, France - May 28, 2022  Fans and police officers at the turnstiles inside the stadium as the match is delayed REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
Liverpool fans - including children and disabled supporters - were teargassed outside the Stade de France. (Reuters)

Labour MP Ian Byrne compared the event to what happened in April 1989, in which 97 Liverpool fans died after being crushed into a stand.

The MP for Liverpool West Derby, told Sky News: “It was horrific, there’s no other words to describe it, it was absolutely horrific.

“As someone who was at Hillsborough in 1989, it brought so many terrible memories flooding back.

“I’m sure that many, many people who were there experienced that same flashback.

“It was just awful policing and stewarding, extremely hostile atmosphere.

“We’ve got to remember that this is the premier football occasion in Europe and to treat football fans like animals, as they did, is unforgivable.”

Watch: French minister to meet UEFA over Paris stadium scenes

Mr Byrne said the chaos was caused by “awful policing, awful stewarding” and “mismanagement around the grounds”.

When asked why he thought French authorities were blaming Liverpool football fans for the chaos, Byrne added: “It’s the easy thing to do.

“We’re back in 1989 territory where the lies and smears about Hillsborough went out really quickly and that narrative was set.

“When I got into the grounds I was absolutely appalled when I saw the signs saying it was due to the late arrival of fans.

“There were people who had been there three-and-a-half hours who were kettled in, getting pepper-sprayed, tear-gassed – this was a football occasion.

Real Madrid players celebrate with the trophy after winning the Champions League final soccer match between Liverpool and Real Madrid at the Stade de France in Saint Denis near Paris, Saturday, May 28, 2022. (AP Photo/Tony Hicks)
Real Madrid players celebrate with the trophy after winning the Champions League final. (Reuters)
A Liverpool fan holds a flare on the stands during the Champions League final soccer match between Liverpool and Real Madrid at the Stade de France in Saint Denis near Paris, Saturday, May 28, 2022. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
A Liverpool fan holds a flare on the stands during the Champions League final soccer match between Liverpool and Real Madrid at the Stade de France. (Reuters)

“We’ve all seen the footage, seen the photographs, and I just thank God this time that the journalists were there, the British journalists have covered it wonderfully well.

“But Uefa and the French authorities need to hang their heads in shame about what happened on Saturday night.”

Police arrested 68 people in the run-up to Saturday's game, and 167 were injured, police said.

One 11-year-old boy said he "thought he was going to die" after being hit with tear gas, before telling his dad: "I don't want to be here anymore."

Jade Pearce, 47, and his son Maxwell, were stuck outside the stadium for two hours as the violence erupted.

They didn't watch any of the game on Saturday, despite spending more than £1,000.

Jade told The Sun: "Our queue wasn’t moving. There wasn’t any trouble caused by Liverpool fans. We had proper tickets and so did everyone around us.

“Then suddenly Maxwell started crying as tear gas released nearby hit him."

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