Liverpool president Tom Werner has apologized to the French sports minister, saying the fans’ fake tickets at the Champions League final in Paris and the way the England club treated his fans were the cause of the problem.
The start of Real Madrid’s 1-0 victory on Saturday was delayed by more than half an hour as police tried to prevent fans from entering the State de France. Some crowds, including children, fired tear gas by French police to control the incident.
On Monday, French Sports Minister Amelie Odia-Castera said there were initial problems with the Liverpool fans being on board without a valid ticket, and accused the club of allowing its fans to get out of their way.
“There has been massive fraud (on ticket sales) on a large scale,” said French Interior Minister Gerald Dormann.
On Monday evening, Werner responded in a letter to Odia-Castro, describing his comments about the fans affected by the events as “irresponsible, professional and utterly disrespectful”.
“The Champions League final should have been one of the best matches in the world of sports, but it turned out to be one of the worst defensive defeats in recent memory,” Liverpool Echo newspaper Werner was quoted as saying.
“On behalf of all the fans who experienced this nightmare, I apologize to you and assure you that the French authorities and the EU will allow an independent and transparent investigation.”
UEFA said it had appointed an independent commission to investigate ticket-related incidents and fan issues, with the Odea-Castera report said to be issued within 10 days.
In an interview with Liverpool’s website, the club’s CEO Billy Hogan said that Liverpool is also studying the legal options on behalf of its fans.
“Explorer. Problem solver. Certified reader. Incurable web expert. Subtly charming travel guru. General student. Twitter evangelist.”