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Real Madrid issue statement on “deplorable” Champions League final scenes

Real Madrid have calling for “those responsible to be held accountable” over the chaotic organisation of last weekend’s Champions League final at the Stade de France.

Update:
Real Madrid issue statement on “deplorable” Champions League final scenes

Real Madrid have released a statement demanding answers for the “deplorable” scenes witnessed at Saturday’s Champions League final at the Stade de France.

UEFA and the French authorities have come under fire for the chaotic organisation of the showpiece event, whose kickoff was delayed by 36 minutes as congestion outside the Liverpool end left thousands of Reds supporters unable to enter the stadium in time for the game’s scheduled 9pm CEST start.

Fans left “abandoned and defenceless”

There have also been widespread accounts - including video footage shared on social media - of Madrid and Liverpool fans being mugged, pickpocketed and assaulted by locals in Saint-Denis, the Paris suburb in which the Stade de France is located.

Madrid have accused the final’s organisers of leaving their travelling supporters “abandoned and defenceless” against such incidents.

Real Madrid’s statement in full:

In view of the deplorable incidents that occurred on 28 May in the surroundings and entrances to the Stade de France, and even inside the stadium itself, Real Madrid C.F. wishes to state the following in defence of club supporters who were victims of these incidents:

1. We wish to know what the reasons behind the designation of the hosting rights for the final were and what criteria were taken into account, given what occurred on the day.

2. We also ask for answers and explanations that determine who was responsible for leaving the fans abandoned and defenceless. Fans whose behaviour was in general exemplary at all times.

It is our understanding that what should have been a major festival of football for all the fans who attended the game descended into a series of unfortunate incidents that have sparked deep indignation across the world.

As can clearly be seen in the revealing images that have been shown in the media, many fans were violently assaulted, harassed, mugged and robbed. Incidents that also took place when they were travelling in their cars or on buses, fearing for their physical safety. Some of them even had to spend the night in hospital because of the injuries they received.

Football presented to the world an image that is far from the values and objectives it should be pursuing.

Our fans deserve answers and for those responsible to be held accountable, so that situations such as those experienced on Saturday are eradicated from football and sport forever.

UEFA to launch probe into final organisation

UEFA has announced that it has commissioned an “independent report” into the organisation of the final, which Madrid won 1-0 to lift their 14th European title. The investigation will be led by former Portuguese minister of education Tiago Brandao Rodrigues.

It was really chaotic,” Madrid defender Dani Carvajal said after the match, revealing that his family and friends suffered safety issues. “It’s a shame, because it leaves a stain on the final. They should learn from this and improve everything, because there were people who suffered quite badly and on what should have been a dream day, there were people who couldn’t enjoy it.”

UEFA initially blamed the kickoff delay on the “late arrival” of Liverpool fans, before French interior minister Gérald Darmanin on Monday claimed that tens of thousands of the club’s supporters had shown up with counterfeit tickets, asserting that there had been “massive, industrial-scale and organised fraud”.

Liverpool chairman Tom Werner has demanded an apology from Darmanin, lambasting the minister’s remarks as “irresponsible”.

Amid widely-shared video evidence of French police indiscriminately teargassing Liverpool fans as they waited to enter the stadium, Werner said in a letter to Darmanin: “Your comments were irresponsible, unprofessional, and wholly disrespectful to the thousands of fans harmed physically and emotionally.”

Video: Who is to blame for the UCL final chaos?

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