I would normally write about the football. In the wake of the Champions League final, I was relatively certain that I would be writing about the football. Yet in the wake of what happened in Paris, it is impossible to write about football. I’m not just saying that because we lost, though losing felt like an inevitability after what came before. It isn’t excuse making to say that nobody off the pitch was in the mood to support the team after feeling as though their life was under threat, whilst the players themselves will have been well aware of what was taking place outside the Stade de France. We know from Andy Robertson in the immediate aftermath of the game that someone he had given a ticket to from the club was told their ticket was fake and refused entry. If he knew that had happened straight after the full-time whistle, he’d have known it before the match got underway. Other players had relatives that they’d have been worrying about, too.
This sport can be so cruel sometimes. Makes no sense how we lost this game after such a dominant performance. But we are a really really good team and we’ll be back at the finals again next season. Let’s goooo @LFC #YNWA pic.twitter.com/zcmoqjqBd6
— Alfred (@CallmeAlfredo) May 29, 2022
As I say, that isn’t an excuse. Real Madrid won the match thanks to the exploits of Thibaut Courtois in goal and Liverpool’s inability to finish of the numerous chances that we created. When all is said and done, that is the only thing that matters as far as the football is concerned. My point is more that we have no idea how much of an impact what was taking place outside of the stadium had on the players and therefore I’m not willing to go into much tactical analysis of the game itself. Instead, this is mostly about what happened away from the football and the disgraceful actions of the French police. People that I know and care about were pepper sprayed and gassed. They truly feared for their live outside of the stadium and were attacked and mugged in the wake of the final whistle. They did nothing wrong, they merely wanted to watch a football match and support their team. What happened in Paris is disgusting and it needs to be spoken about until someone is punished.
The French Are Appalling – But Don’t Let UEFA Off The Hook
The actions of the French police were caught on camera. Countless journalists were present outside the ground, documenting everything that happened. That the French government has decided to double-down on its lies rather than admit its faults is a major issue. No other sport in the world would see people treated in the manner that Liverpool fans were on Saturday and the fact that it was Liverpool fans is irrelevant. Had Manchester City made the final instead of us, they would have been given the same treatment by a French police force that seemed determined to act in a front-footed manner against English football fans. The fact that the evidence seems to suggest that the vast majority of incidents were caused by local youths is irrelevant in terms of how the police behaved. There will be plenty of opposition fans trotting out the same old nonsense about Liverpool fans, with the nonsense from the French playing into those stereotypes, but anyone with half a brain can see what actually happened.
2 hours queuing. Only got in for half time. tear gassed 4 times despite the fact we were nothing but peaceful. 14 year year old cousin beat up by people trying to steal his ticket. don’t let them blame us!!!!! pic.twitter.com/TXu8yZAPUG
— ava (@avalallana) May 28, 2022
Whilst the French were disgusting and questions need to be answered, that doesn’t mean that UEFA should be let off the hook. Football’s governing body in Europe was quick to accept the French excuse that it was the late arrival of Liverpool fans that had caused the issue. Then, when that was shown to be patently untrue, they accepted the next excuse. This time it was about counterfeit tickets that stopped the machines from working, in spite of the fact that there is video evidence showing that gates weren’t even opened. I know for a fact that someone with a valid ticket had it taken off them and was then asked to pay a bribe in order to get into the ground. This is disgusting and wrong, with UEFA having serious questions to answer about why it was that the Stade de France was chosen to host the final. Yes, it needed to be moved with late notice, but there didn’t seem to be even the slightest bit of infrastructure in place to host such a hugely important game. That is on UEFA, with the bigwigs needing to be forced to explain what happened.
The Parade Showed The Liverpool Players How Much We Care
In the wake of the Champions League final, the Liverpool players will have been on the floor. Having established that their family and friends were safe, they will have next turned to what happened on the pitch and doubtless tried to figure out how, exactly, they lost a match that they completely dominated. They will almost certainly have wanted to be swallowed up by a big hole and hibernated until the start of next season. I cannot imagine that any of them will have been in the mood for a parade, even if they very much deserved one. Yet the people of the city and supporters from further afield did not allow them to wallow in self-pity. With the exception of the usual morons online, Liverpool fans as one stood up and applauded the players and the management team for what they achieved this season. Alongside the women’s team, what the Reds have done this season was worthy of a parade even without the two trophies that they were able to show off.
Klopp: “In no club in the world could it happen that you lose a CL final the night before, and people arrive here in the shape and mood that they are. It’s absolutely outstanding. This is the best club in the world, I don’t care what other people think.” #LFC pic.twitter.com/rAHFHwx5UX
— James Pearce (@JamesPearceLFC) May 29, 2022
Leicester City had a parade last season for the FA Cup alone, so the idea that we should somehow be embarrassed for celebrating a double as well as the promotion of the women’s team is laughable. That is without the fact that we’d have won the league were it not for the sports-washing operation that is taking place down the M62. 92 points would have been enough to win the title in almost any season in which the cheats at the Etihad were not involved, so that is something that deserved applause. What we saw taking place in Liverpool on Sunday was magical. It will have dragged those players off the floor and made them feel ten-foot tall, to say nothing of how any potential transfer targets will be feeling about the club right now. A penny for Erling Haaland’s thoughts, having watched the four men and their dog turn up for the City title parade, then half a million people head out with flares and smoke bombs for us. After an awful night, a day of joy and jubilation.