MP asks Macron for independent inquiry into stadium chaos

MP asks Macron for independent inquiry into stadium chaos

by Henry James (June 2022)

BILL Esterson MP has written to both the French President Emmanuel Macron and UEFA chief Aleksander Ceferin, and has called for an independent investigation, following the “chaos” Liverpool fans described at the Champion League final in Paris.

The Sefton Central MP has also signed an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons calling for an apology from French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin and French Sports Minister Amelie Oudea-Castera after their “appalling and unsubstantiated comments about Liverpool fans made since the match.”

Mr Esterson said several constituents contacted him following the match at the Stade de France on May 28.

Some described being in fear for their lives in the chaos outside the stadium where fans came up against closed gates and turnstiles causing congestion and crushing.

Fans said they were refused entry to the stadium, tear gassed, intimidated by locals and robbed.

They were then shocked to learn that they had been blamed for the delayed kick off by officials who said thousands of fans had turned up without tickets or with fake tickets.

The Early Day Motion tabled by West Derby MP Ian Byrne and signed by 70 MPs including Mr Esterson, calls for an independent investigation into the matchday failures in co-ordination with Merseyside Police.

The EDM described “catastrophic failures in stadium management by UEFA and French authorities which threatened the lives and wellbeing of supporters”, “grossly inadequate funnelling on approaching the stadium”, and “ indiscriminate pepper-spraying and tear-gassing of supporters including children by French police”.

Mr Esterson said: “The facts are that Liverpool fans arrived at Stade de France up to three-and-a-half hours before kick-off and Merseyside Police officers’ own accounts state the vast majority of fans behaved in an exemplary manner, arriving early and queuing as directed. An independent investigation must be held.”

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