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BBC Reporter Pepper Sprayed Outside Champions League Final

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BBC Reporter Pepper Sprayed Outside Champions League Final

A BBC reporter was pepper sprayed after chaos broke out at the Champions League Final in Paris yesterday (28 May). 

Hundreds of fans struggled get into the Stade de France last night ahead of the final between Liverpool FC and Real Madrid. 

Footage shared on social media showed scores of supporters stuck outside the stadium with police and security gathered around, while numerous fans claimed to have been pepper sprayed. 

Many of the fans stuck outside claimed to have tickets. Credit: Alamy
Many of the fans stuck outside claimed to have tickets. Credit: Alamy
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Police sprayed tear gas at Liverpool fans. Credit: Matthias Hangst/Getty Images
Police sprayed tear gas at Liverpool fans. Credit: Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

BBC reporter Nick Parrott says he was one of the fans who was sprayed. 

He told the BBC: “I’ve just been pepper sprayed for the first time in my life having been to matches regularly since 1994.

“I’ve been home and away and Champions League finals before and I’ve never been pepper sprayed before.

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“The gates have been opening and closing repeatedly over the past hour and a half but no-one has been going through.

“A few moments ago, the security staff on the other side advanced towards Liverpool fans and sprayed pepper spray.

“I have seen about ten fans try to climb over the fences but they weren’t all in Liverpool colours.

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“Gate Z is currently open but there doesn’t seem to be any movement.

“I’ve never seen this sort of chaos at any football match I’ve ever been to in a personal capacity and quite frankly, I’m just utterly surprised.

“The Liverpool fans are behaving themselves and they’ve been trying to move back from these gates in order to try and get in but the authorities just seem to be not doing nothing.”

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UEFA blamed the delayed kick-off on the late arrival of Liverpool fans, but the club has said it has requested a 'formal investigation into the causes of unacceptable issues'.

In a statement UEFA said: "In the lead-up to the game, the turnstiles at the Liverpool end became blocked by thousands of fans who had purchased fake tickets which did not work in the turnstiles.

"This created a build-up of fans trying to get in. As a result, the kick off was delayed by 35 minutes to allow as many fans as possible with genuine tickets to gain access.

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"As numbers outside the stadium continued to build up after kick off, the police dispersed them with tear gas and forced them away from the stadium.

Kick off was delayed but went ahead just after 8.30pm BST. Credit: Alamy
Kick off was delayed but went ahead just after 8.30pm BST. Credit: Alamy

"UEFA is sympathetic to those affected by these events and will further review these matters urgently together with the French police and authorities, and with the French Football Federation."

The Parisian police force Prefecture de Police said in a statement queues began to form when fans arrived without tickets. 

The statement went on: "Exerting strong pressure to enter the enclosure, these supporters delayed access to spectators with tickets.

"Taking advantage of this action, a number of people managed to cross the gates protecting the stadium enclosure.

"The rapid intervention of the police allowed the return to calm and the evacuation of the disturbers outside the forecourt of the Stade de France.

"The dispersal of the spectators takes place without difficulty. No major incident was observed in the two fan zones."

However, Merseyside Police said fans showed ‘exemplary’ behaviour.

In a tweet Merseyside Police Matchday Officers wrote: “MERPOL was deployed to this evening’s match.

“Can only describe it as the worst European match I’ve ever worked or experienced.

“I thought the behaviour of the fans at the turnstiles was exemplary in shocking circumstances. You were not late 100 percent.”

Featured Image Credit: Twitter/Sky

Topics: Sport, UK News

Claire Reid
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