'It was just lies' - Jurgen Klopp BLASTS treatment of Liverpool fans at Champions League final following independent UEFA report
- Liverpool fans attacked and blamed
- UEFA admitted to "reprehensible" acts
- Klopp labelled their actions "lies"
WHAT HAPPENED? European football's governing body released an independent review of the events on 28 May, in which they admitted "primary responsibility" for the chaos caused. Liverpool supporters were subject to attack with teargas and pepper spray and were funnelled into dangerous crushes, before being inexplicably blamed by UEFA and the French authorities after the event. The report has since exonerated fans from any wrong doing, something which Klopp has praised, although the German highlighted just how fabricated the original claims were.
WHAT THEY SAID: "I think it’s super-important that, finally, it’s official, let me say it like this," Klopp told Liverpool's official website. "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.
"Staying calm in a situation where nobody really can stay calm, tear gas in your eyes, pressure from up front, from the side, from behind, being locked in between thousands of people and not pushing like crazy, staying calm, is a massive thing to do and an extremely difficult thing to do. And then getting out of it and getting blamed for that, it’s horrible. It’s really horrible."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Klopp's words echo - albeit in a more reserved manner - the responses from his employers in the aftermath of the report. Liverpool's official statement underlined the "shocking false narratives" peddled by UEFA immediately after the fact, while captain Jordan Henderson called on the event to be "a turning point for the treatment of football fans". It is thought that the club have demanded for reforms and will be pushing for safety changes following the release of the report.
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WHAT NEXT FOR KLOPP? The German steered his side to a crucial derby day victory over Everton on Monday, and faces an even sterner test away at top-four rivals Newcastle on Saturday.