An investigation with French police officers over the use of tear gas against Liverpool fans | Champions League

Two French police officers are under investigation over the disproportionate use of tear gas against them Liverpool The French interior minister said fans at the Champions League final in Paris last Saturday, announcing that fans will be able to file legal complaints about their treatment.

Gerald Darmanin told a Senate committee he had “nothing to hide” after senators insisted they wanted “the truth” and “concrete facts” about the police reaction outside the stadium. France. The match was postponed for more than 30 minutes after French police officers forcibly stopped people trying to break into the grounds, and fans, including children, were subjected to tear gas.

Darmanin said there have been “a certain number of inappropriate and disproportionate gestures” by the police or gendarmerie, which have been documented. He said that two officers used tear gas in a manner that “contradicts the rules of its use” and were referred to the police watchdog, where he requested that they be punished.

But Darmanin defended the police’s general use of tear gas, which he said should be contextualised. He said this was the only method police used to “disperse” the crowds amid fears they would be crushed outside the stadium. “The tear gas allowed people to be saved from collapsing,” he said, but acknowledged that it “caused damage, especially to children.”

He said that dispersal techniques used by the police would be reviewed – and that tear gas was the only method available to riot police units that night. He said that other crowd control measures, such as Grenades or some form of portable rubber bullet launcher It will not be “proportional”.

Several videos Saturday night showed tear gas being sprayed in the face of the spectator.

Liverpool and Real Madrid Darmanin said fans will be able to file legal complaints in France or with the French police agency. He said French investigators would be sent to Madrid and England to collect testimony, and a website in English and Spanish would also be set up by local French prosecutors’ offices to deal with the event.

The government also said that 2,700 Liverpool fans who obtained original tickets and were unable to make it to the match will receive financial compensation.

Darmanin said 14 Britons had been arrested over the crowd disturbances, including one on charges of violence.

Darmanin said the “negative image” of the match was “a wound to France’s national pride”. Clearly, he said, “things could have been better organized”.

He insisted before the Senate that between 30,000 and 40,000 additional Liverpool fans attended the match either without tickets or with fake tickets. He said there were two types of ticket fraud – fakes costing £50, bought on the street, which allowed fans to bypass initial barriers; Or high-end fake paper tickets that sold from €800 to €1,200 (£682 to £852).

Francois-Noel Buffet, chair of the Senate legal committee, said the chaos leading up to the match was “unanimously described as outrageous and even a national disgrace, according to some politicians”.

The feud has gained significant political weight in France ahead of parliamentary elections in less than two weeks, with opposition politicians from the right and left attacking newly re-elected President Emmanuel Macron and the French government for what they describe as police failures and poor organization.

Darmanin’s version of events – blaming tens of thousands of Britons who arrived without tickets – was challenged by Liverpool fans who attended.

Michael Savin, a senator from the right-wing Republic party, also questioned Darmanin’s account of the tens of thousands of additional people present, saying he was not supported by those on the ground.

The European Football Association, UEFA, has commissioned an independent report on the problem.

Government spokeswoman Olivia Gregoire told reporters on Wednesday that Macron “has full confidence in Gerald Darmanin as interior minister.” She said Macron had asked for complete “transparency”.