No cover-up on Champions League Final debacle, demands Mayor
Mayor of Liverpool witnessed the traumatic scenes in Paris with her own eyes and has vowed to continue to lobby authorities in England and France to establish a full independent investigation.
A lot has happened since the Champions League Final in Paris and I want to give you an update.
Following the disgraceful scenes at the Stade de France I wrote to the Foreign Secretary demanding both an investigation into the handling of the Champions League final by French authorities and also an apology from UEFA and those French politicians who so irresponsibly blamed the Liverpool fans for these failures.
I am pleased that the government, specifically the Secretary of State for DCMS, have repeated this request to UEFA and that the investigation is going ahead.
I am however concerned over reports that the investigation is not sufficiently independent, and it does not support Liverpool Football Club and its fans right to be involved throughout the process.
I am extremely angry and disappointed at reports that the CCTV footage from the Stade de France which will have extensively recorded the horrendous scenes which unfolded on the 28th June has been deleted. This smells like a shoddy attempt to copy the cover-up and victim blaming following the Hillsborough disaster.
I refuse to let the people of Liverpool be scapegoated, stereotyped and blamed for the appalling management and incompetence of the authorities responsible for these scenes.
I want to repeat my thanks to the Liverpool fans, whose responsible actions and calmness ensured that there were no injuries or loss of life, as highlighted by Merseyside Police whose officers were in Paris to observe events.
Liverpool Football Club have collected over 8,000 testimonies from fans who were at the match and this independent investigation must be forced to take into account their accounts, and not rely on organisations who are looking to protect their own backs. LFC have also announced that they are working with mental health orgs to offer support to fans who feel they need this following the traumatic events of 28th May.
I want to thank everyone who has been in touch with me following the final, especially those offering support for our fans and city, and I’d like to praise the solidary from French people and local politicians who have been in touch.
Particular, thanks to Freeman of Liverpool and founder of Royal de Luxe Jean-Luc Courcoult, for his warm message of support.
He wrote: “I am really ashamed of my country at this time linked to the recent issues with the Liverpool football match in Paris. Personally, I do not support the approach that was taken by the French police in any way whatsoever. That is it. I wanted to tell you this. I strongly disapprove of the violent way in which they dealt with the issues experienced at the match. I am not all in agreement with the approach that was taken, and many French people also disagree with it. There are many French people who are strongly opposed to this recent display of violence by the French police and many French people who do not vote in support of politicians who endorse this. I simply wanted to communicate this to you.”
I am determined to use my voice and platform to make sure this matter is not dropped, forgot about, or swept under the carpet.
And I will endeavour to update you again as matters develop.