Liverpool fan group Spirit of Shankly to appear at French Senate hearing after Champions League final chaos
Liverpool supporters’ union Spirit of Shankly will appear at the French Senate hearing on Tuesday (June 21).
Spirit of Shankly chairman Joe Blott will be joined by Liverpool Disabled Supporters Association chairman Ted Morris to present evidence to the French Senate’s Law and Culture Committee. Last week, the supporters group was told there would be no supporter representation, but following lobbying by SOS and Football Supporters Europe, the initial refusal was overturned.
Now, at last, the voices of the fans will be heard as Liverpool and Real Madrid supporters will be represented in the hearing.
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Spirit of Shankly said: “Joe and Ted will record the experiences endured by thousands of fans following the chaotic staging of the UCL final, highlighting the seismic failures of French authorities and police and the UEFA.
“Paris requested that this prestigious game be played at the Stade de France, but the basic routine and management of such a game failed. There were no stewards to direct people to safety before, during and after the match.Instead, these same people were tear gassed and beaten indiscriminately, many fearing for their lives.
“Since then the authorities, rather than admitting their failings, have sought to lay blame on the supporters with false and unsubstantiated lies and allegations arising from a misconception of football fans in general and Liverpool supporters especially the hooligans they spent months grooming and when it became apparent they did not change their tactics but treated women, men, children and disabled people as violent criminals.
“It was only the exemplary behavior of Liverpool fans, who waited with patience and composure, that prevented a tragedy and deaths in the crush from entering the stadium. The collective memory and pain of the Hillsborough disaster meant Liverpool supporters knew what to do to avoid disaster.
“In short, there must be a full, independent and transparent investigation into what happened and SOS, on behalf of all Liverpool supporters, demands a full apology and the recantation of the lies and slander.”
The statement adds that in order to get to the truth about what happened in the game, the following questions must be answered:
• Why was there a total absence of signage between the RER station and the stadium?
• Why are the transport figures used to make fan claims unclear, unsubstantiated and changing from day to day?
• Why is it not disputed that these transport figures include people going to shops, going to work or going out?
• Why was the route to the stadium different from the one fans had to follow on the UEFA app?
• Why was the French Football Federation’s request to split fans into two separate pre-screening queues ignored?
• Why was there no reaction to the fact that the RER strike continued?
• Why were the early afternoon problems caused by the RER strike not resolved as soon as they became clear?
• Why did the authorities never try to communicate with the fans about the problems and possible solutions?