Hooligans ruin a football spectacle once again by Dan Smith
As someone who has long argued that the UK has a problem regarding fan behaviour, I feel obliged to give my opinion on the events that overshadowed the Champions League Final.
It’s embarrassing enough for the England FA that last summer supporters without tickets forced entry into Wembley, while this season ended with Liverpudlians (yes you are English like it or not) being accused of trying to gain access to the Stade De France with fake tickets or none at all.
We are quick to look at other nations and judge, yet when it’s our own country we want to blame UEFA, police, security, etc.
The reality is we have a growing number of examples where British men and women think that, in the confines of their footballing bubble, they can act however they want.
There are several instances in the world right now where the media report to you what suits their agenda, not necessarily all the facts. It’s up to you as a person to research a subject, listen to both sides of the argument and form your own point of view.
TV, Radio and the Internet though will try and force you to think a certain way.
So, if you listened to Five Live on Saturday, read articles off the BBC or watched BT, you would hear how Red followers booed the CL anthem because ‘their brothers and sisters were still locked out’.
Journalists took to social media to report how innocent people made to queue for hours were being tear gassed.
In reality, the French police didn’t just decide to randomly attack individuals while organizers didn’t just lock the ground out of spite.
Due to their sensitive history, it’s almost taboo to question Liverpool fans’ accountability when there is crowd trouble. It also hurts their brand and marketability potential to paint them as Yobs.
Yet in the last few weeks, some fans from that City booed the national anthem, swore at the future king, provoked Patrick Vieira, and now clashed with French police with the world watching.
Go on YouTube, you will find videos of people jumping over fences to get in free, breaking down barriers, posts of fights breaking out and admissions of peers stealing tickets.
Ask yourself why the press chose to hide those images?
Over 60,000 scousers flocked to Paris, meaning over half didn’t have tickets.
Of course, it’s a disgrace that governing bodies allocate tickets in the manner they do, but that doesn’t give you a divine right to get into the stadium anyway.
If you went to the French Capital and brought a fake ticket from a tout or tried to break in, then I have zero sympathy.
Of course, genuine customers missed kick off when the doors were locked, but if I was being tear gassed, I wouldn’t be angry at personnel paid to protect the public, I would be fuming with those next to me, wasting our time by trying to jump the queue.
I would be questioning why thousands of morons are wasting authorities’ time when they should be in a Fan Park, not outside a stadium.
It’s easy with hindsight to judge how the situation should have been policed.
Yet nothing should be more of a priority than the health and wellbeing of humans.
Once it was clear that there were too many fans with too many false tickets, those in power have a duty of care to ensure you don’t have overcrowding in one tier.
If that means delaying kick off until things are better organised, then that’s too bad.
Wembley stewards were accused of being two soft in July when, not just was the Twin Towers broken into, but those criminals were not removed from the seats they stole.
When the French equivalent takes control, they are too harsh?
It’s got to be one or the other.
Could tickets have been checked at other points on route to the stadium?
Yet that doesn’t give you the right to do what you want. That would be like robbing a shop then blaming the security.
After ‘God Save The Queen’ was jeered in the FA Cup Final, Jurgen Klopp said we should ask why? It’s funny he’s not asking that now.
In reality, the truth is fans bombarded a stadium without tickets and/or fake versions.
They climbed over fences, kicked down barriers, verbally abused police and even fought each other.
If you don’t want to be tear gassed then stop breaking the law.
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