The official in charge of policing at last month’s Champions League final has conceded the operation was a “failure” and appeared to back-track on previous claims that the majority of the problems were caused by ticketless fans.
Kick-off in the showpiece between Liverpool and Real Madrid in Paris was delayed as Reds fans struggled to enter the stadium, with tear gas used against them, and reports of attacks by local gangs.
Speaking to the French Senate, Didier Lallement said it was “obviously a failure”, in quotes reported by numerous news agencies including AFP.
Lallement added: “It was a failure because people were pushed around and attacked. It’s a failure because the image of the country was undermined.”
Lallement also admitted he had no evidence for previous claims made to the French authorities that as many as 40,000 Liverpool fans had descended on the stadium either without tickets or with forged tickets.
Lallement said he obtained the number through “feedback”, but conceded: “Perhaps I made a mistake with the figure I gave to the minister.
“I never claimed that it was absolutely accurate.”
Liverpool City mayor Steve Rotheram is due to give his views to the Senate later on Thursday.
Rotheram was one of many fans who had his phone and other belongings stolen before the game, and he described “completely chaotic” scenes on his social media account.