Reaction to Senate Report
Speaking to the press for the first time since last season, Jurgen Klopp, when asked about the Champions League final, said: “For Liverpudlians, the smallest problem we had that night was that we lost the game. Imagine that at the Champions League final? Crazy!”
He was right. That quote from the Liverpool manager captures perfectly the aftermath of events at Stade de France on 28 May 2022. What should have been a fitting finale to a great season, a blue-riband game for the hosts Paris and organisers UEFA, instead turned into a chaotic, frightening shambles.
The false narrative began immediately – blaming fans for arriving late, for having fake tickets “on an industrial scale” and for arriving in their thousands without tickets. But we, the supporters, knew the truth.
It was a combination of serious errors, gross negligence and the ambivalence of UEFA and the relevant French authorities, including their police, that led to thousands of fans experiencing potential and in some cases life-changing threats. Threats from poor communication, stadium and crowd management. Threats from police batons, tear gas and pepper spray. Threats from local thugs making the most of the poor police operation that focused on the non-existent “English hooligans”. Not on crowd-safety management.
In short, it was a monumental failure of French and UEFA organisation.
Following supporters’ determined’ first-hand recollections and video evidence, the French Government recognised it could not stay silent. The Senate’s Law and Culture Committee, co-chaired by François-Noël Buffet and Laurent Lafont, was set up to hear evidence.
Initially, the same lies were peddled. Both Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin and Prefect of Police Didier Lallement took zero responsibility and put the blame solely on football fans. Finally, on 21 May 2022, the Senate heard from those fans, both from Liverpool and Real Madrid, and heard the truth.
Today the Senate has sent a clear message of support to those supporters who attended the match, calling it a “fiasco” and stating: “It was not you who caused the problems at Stade de France”.
Spirit of Shankly would like to thank the Senate both for welcoming the testimonies of fans and consequently vindicating them from any responsibility. However, there remains the issue of lies being persistently repeated.
We want a full apology from the French Government with a complete retraction of the lies purported on their behalf on and since 28 May 2022, and will continue to lobby to achieve it. We also believe only a full French Parliamentary inquiry, with witnesses testifying under oath, will bring truth and justice and will continue to lobby to achieve it.