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Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson insists the chaotic scenes outside the Stade de France ahead of last season’s Champions League final must provide a watershed moment.
Thousands of fans were locked out and missed kick-off against Real Madrid after French police adopted draconian measures in an attempt to deal with a crush outside the ground, exacerbated by the authorities’ attempts at crowd control on the streets leading to the venue.
Many fans were also targeted with pepper spray and tear gas and some – including family members of Liverpool’s players and the management – ultimately gave up and left without gaining entry.
Safety and security shouldn’t be asked for or campaigned for, they should be a given and in Paris this was not the case
- Jordan Henderson
Fans were then attacked in the streets by local gangs after the match with little or no police protection.
A UEFA inquiry is still ongoing – Liverpool have received 9,000 written testimonies from fans who were at the final – and Henderson believes action has to be taken.
“I don’t want to say too much at this stage, but there is a basic principle that needs to be agreed on by all involved in football and that is that football supporters should always be taken care of,” Henderson wrote in his programme notes ahead of Monday’s match against Crystal Palace.
“That is absolutely non-negotiable. Safety and security shouldn’t be asked for or campaigned for, they should be a given and in Paris this was not the case.
“All of the players and staff had family and friends who were caught up in the problems outside the stadium so we are all well aware of what went on and what went wrong.
“The only conclusion that anyone can come to is that something like that can never happen again.
“I’m not just speaking for our supporters here either. Every single football fan needs to know that when they go to a match, the authorities will look after them. For that to happen, Paris needs to be a watershed.
“It has to be a moment that brings about change for the better. Nothing else is acceptable.”