Liverpool Manchester United Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool Manager Jurgen Klopp. Photo: EPA/NEIL HALL

Jurgen Klopp delighted at fan vindication after Paris enquiry

Jurgen Klopp has reacted to the publication of the UEFA independent report into the events that surrounded the 2022 Champions League final in Paris.

Liverpool Manchester United Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool Manager Jurgen Klopp. Photo: EPA/NEIL HALL

Jurgen Klopp has reacted to the publication of the UEFA independent report into the events that surrounded the 2022 Champions League final in Paris.

Klopp was happy to see the Liverpool supporters cleared of wrongdoing.

Jurgen Klopp delighted at fan vindication

He feels that it was important that the findings be made public as soon as possible.

“I think it’s super-important that, finally, it’s official, let me say it like this.

“I’m not sure, at least in my life, there was never a case with more evidence, where I knew more about [it] when I was not directly involved, because I was on the other side of the wall in the stadium, pretty much. 

“But families, friends, they were all there and everybody knew how our supporters behaved, but it really feels good, it feels just right that it’s now official and everybody knows it now because there were so many things said after the game, which we knew they were wrong. It was just lies. So, I’m really happy that it’s finally said officially.”

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UEFA must act to prevent a rehash

Champions league final crime
Photo taken on 28 May, 2022 Liverpool fans stand outside unable to get in in time leading to the match being delayed prior to the UEFA Champions League final football match between Liverpool and Real Madrid at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, north of Paris. Liverpool and Real Madrid fans who were victims of crime at the Champions League final were told they can file complaints to the French authorities. Numerous supporters attending Real’s 1-0 win against Liverpool at the Stade de France on 28 May have alleged they were attacked by gangs of local youths before and after the match in Paris. Photo: THOMAS COEX / AFP

Klopp said that the enquiries recommendations regarding the staging of major finals must be implemented.

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“Yeah, there’s no chance to ignore that,” he said when asked how vital it is that UEFA and the authorities implement the recommendations made in the report as a matter of critical urgency. 

“There were big mistakes made. That they had to change the venue a few months before that actually when it happened, I understand and that’s difficult. But to put it into a stadium which is not used regularly, so just for some big events and stuff like this and not all the time…

“So, as an example, I’m German and this is why I say it, but as an example if you used Berlin – a big city, enough hotels, is used to having every two weeks big events with 70,000 people in the stadium and stuff like that, it would have been exactly the same, but the supporters wouldn’t have been from Germany, but from Spain and England [and] that would be the only difference. So, there was a good chance to find a better venue than [this one in] France. 

“So, this in the first place – that they didn’t oversee it, the problems they had with the experience of the venue, I am not sure, 16 years ago or something like that with another Champions League final where they knew it didn’t work out too well, I think that is the first problem and all the other things [followed]. 

“Big events are organised so often and when you are under pressure, you have time pressure, you still have to make the right decisions and that’s [a] responsibility for specific people.

“And so yes, I hope they listen, I hope they learn.”

Jurgen Klopp reflects on the Paris Shambles

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More than 9,000 supporters contacted Liverpool FC to document what they experienced that night and Klopp thanked them for their bravery.

Klopp also lauded the work of journalists who were moving through the crowds and documented what really happened.

“The only good thing in all the bad things that happened there is that many journalists were there in that crowd. So independent, no Liverpool shirt, just being there and wanting to do their job and they knew exactly that it was wrong as well and I think that helped because otherwise they probably all would have to go through that as well.

“I think we were really lucky that not more happened. 

“It was a day of, I’m not sure how you say it, but the day of ‘goodwill lies’ – when you have to lie to protect the other person. Because we all had messages from our people outside before the game and then the game got delayed, so we started looking at the smartphone again, ‘What’s happening?’ We knew because people couldn’t get in and everybody said, ‘No, I’m fine, I’m fine…’ and nobody was fine.

“Nobody was fine.

“Then the game started and I heard from people that everybody who was in the stadium was just there and thought, ‘I made it somehow, wow.’ 

“It was not the mood you are in when you want to watch a Champions League final. So what it all took away and the strangest thing is that after the game, like an hour after the game, the least important information on that night was that we lost the final. That’s really crazy. And that shows just how it all went.