Hillsborough survivors at Champions League had 'flashbacks' during chaos

ITV News Granada Sports Correspondent Chris Hall reports.

A Liverpool MP who was caught up in the chaos before the Champions League final has described it as his most horrific experience since the Hillsborough tragedy.

Ian Byrne, Labour member for Liverpool West Derby, was at the match at Hillsborough in 1989 and attended the game in Paris, which saw Shambolic scenes outside the Stade de France as Reds supporters with tickets were made to wait in 'crushing' queues until after the match began.

Hundreds of fans caught up in it said French police used pepper-spray "unprovoked" while they were waiting to enter the stadium.

On Monday night, UEFA announced it would be launching an independent and comprehensive review, following calls for the football to investigate the chaotic scenes that marred the final in Paris on Saturday (May 28).

Speaking to Granada Reports presenter Lucy Meacock, Mr Byrne said: '' it was absolutely horrific, the most horrific experience I've been involved in since 1989.

There will be many people like me who were at Hillsborough who would have felt those horrible sensations come back to them - when they were seeing people crushed against fences.

I was lucky to get through after about 30 minuters and I actually begged the stewards to open up the remaining turnstiles - it was horrific.''

The Hillsborough Survivors Supporters Alliance says the night brought back horrifying memories from 1989, when 97 Liverpool supporters were unlawfully killed in the crush.

A spokesperson from the Alliance said: "The events... have increased the anxiety levels and flashbacks of many who were at Hillsborough.

"We feared another tragedy and hearing many stories - it's a miracle no one was killed.

"Please get in touch if you need to talk."

The French Minister Amélie Oudéa-Castéra blamed the chaos on Liverpool fans with fake tickets and local French youths trying to force their way into the ground.

During a press conference on Monday, French politicians said 70% of tickets for the final "were fake," resulting in delays.

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin added: "More than 2,600 were confirmed by Uefa as non-validated tickets even though they had gone through the first filtering."

He said: "I would like to express our regrets with regard to the organisation of this final, because some people were not able to see the whole of the match.

"And, of course, I deplore also the errors that took place before this football match."

Ian Byrne, the Labour MP for Liverpool West Derby, attended the match in Paris and said he had never witnessed such scenes since the 1989 Hillsborough disaster.

Byrne wrote to Foreign Secretary Liz Truss to urge her to demand a formal investigation and apologies from UEFA and the French authorities.

He has called for an end to the treatment of football fans as “second-class citizens” and “animals”.

Liverpool Mayor Joanne Anderson echoed the calls for an investigation in her own letter to Truss.

A spokesperson for the Prime Minister also said the government wants to see the treatment of fans fully investigated.

Merseyside Police described the behaviour of the vast majority of supporters as "exemplary".

Police in Paris said some fans had "employed strong force" in a bid to get into the stadium.

Among fans caught up in the chaos was comedian John Bishop, who is from Liverpool, and Radio DJ Roman Kemp.

Bishop has publicly criticised the "disgraceful" treatment of Liverpool fans in a series of angry posts on social media.

The comedian said it was "the worst organised football match" he had ever attended.

Meanwhile, Roman Kemp said being tear-gassed by French police was the "scariest moment of his life".

Speaking on Capital Breakfast show on Monday, he urged authorities to investigated the "discrimination against Liverpool fans".

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