apology | 

Paris police chief admits ‘failure’ of his force’s behaviour at Champions League final

Paris police chief Didier Lallement apologised for authorising the use of teargas, but said there was no other option. Photo: Ludovic Marin/Reuters

Paris police chief Didier Lallement apologised for authorising the use of teargas, but said there was no other option. Photo: Ludovic Marin/Reuters

Karl Matchett© Independent.co.uk

Paris police boss Didier Lallement has acknowledged a “failure” of his force’s behaviour around the Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid, and has apologised for the use of teargas on supporters.

“It is obviously a failure. It was a failure because people were pushed around and attacked. It was a failure because the image of the country was undermined,” he said in a French Senate session yesterday.

Mr Lallement apologised for authorising the use of teargas, but added that he knew of “no other option” under the circumstances.

“I am well aware that people of good faith were gassed, and I am totally sorry for that, but I repeat: there was no other way,” he said.

Previously, the chief claimed that up to 40,000 fans tried to gain access to the Stade de France for the final using fake tickets or no tickets at all.

This has been widely disputed by media and supporters who were in attendance, and Mr Lallement offered no evidence to support his claim here, instead suggesting his estimates came from insights from those on the ground.

“The figure has no scientific virtue, but it came from feedback from police and public transport officials,” he said.

“Maybe I was wrong, but it was constructed from all the information harvested.”

French senators pushed him to explain the evidence behind the figure for fake tickets, which he said had come from police officials.

“It was I who gave this figure to the minister, and I fully stand by it,” he said. “We made sure that the game was held and, most importantly, that there were no serious injuries and no deaths.”

Liverpool mayor Steve Rotheram later told the senate how the final became a “nightmare” and said he was personally robbed.

The May 28 final, which Liverpool lost 1-0 to Real Madrid, was delayed after police officers forcefully held back people trying to enter the ground.

Erwan Le Prevost, from the French Football Federation, told the senate “violent” video footage from the evening had been deleted and was no longer available. (© Independent News Service)


Today's Headlines

More World News

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices