Paris police boss, Didier Lallement has admitted that his force’s approach to the Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid was a “failure” and has apologised for the use of tear gas on supporters.
The final was delayed for more than 30 minutes after police officers forcefully held back people trying to enter the ground. Riot police sprayed tear gas on fans, including women and children.
“It is obviously a failure. It was a failure because people were pushed around and attacked. It was a failure because the image of the country was undermined,” he said in a French Senate session earlier today, Thursday.
The French capital police boss apologised for authorising the use of tear gas but added he knew of “no other option” under the circumstances.
“I am well aware that people of good faith were gassed, and I am totally sorry for that, but I repeat, there was no other way,” he said.
Previously, the chief claimed up to 40,000 fans tried to gain access to the Stade de France for the final using fake tickets or no tickets at all, which has been widely disputed by media and supporters who were in attendance, and he offered no evidence to support his claim here, instead suggesting his estimates came from insights from those on the ground.
“The figure has no scientific virtue but it came from feedback from police and public transport officials,” he added. “Maybe I was wrong, but it was constructed from all the information harvested.