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Jurgen Klopp defends Liverpool fans following Champions League final accusations
The 1-0 defeat by Real Madrid was overshadowed by events outside of the Stade de France.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has defended supporters following allegations it was fans of the club who were to blame for the chaos surrounding the Champions League final.
The Reds were beaten 1-0 by Real Madrid in Paris but it was the response to issues outside of the Stade de France which has continually been in the headlines since.
Authorities in the French capital laid the blame at ticketless supporters trying to force their way into the stadium, while tear gas was used to disperse crowds around the entry gate.
The final was delayed by 30 minutes in the wake of the disturbances, with a French senate report due in the coming days.
The initial response was to point the finger at fans of both clubs, who responded strongly to the claims their supporters had instigated the majority of trouble.
“It was definitely not right,” Klopp said of those accusations.
“Our situation from a player and coaches’ point of view was really strange. So we played the game. Before the game usually I don’t extend a lot of messages. But I’m happy when my missus writes to me in the stadium so I don’t have to think about it anymore.
“I got this message, friends were there as well so I was fine, but realised when the other coaches were saying ‘our families are still outside’. So then game delayed, delayed, delayed and you’re busy with things you usually don’t think about before, ‘have they they arrived, how did they get in’, then you come in, then the UEFA guys pass you and say it’s because of your fans.”
Klopp went on to praise the reaction of the majority of Liverpool fans in attendance after reading what he felt were misleading headlines.
All the information I got immediately was if the Liverpudlians would not have been as calm as they were, it could have been completely different, so much worse
- Jurgen Klopp
“You don’t know anything (from outside). So play the game, lose the game,” he added.
“In the way we lost it was obviously not one of the best moments of our lives. But then you see family in the stands and think ‘At least that’s alright’. Then you meet them after the game. And nobody speaks about the result.
“Nobody speaks about the game, everybody speaks about what happened around the stadium. And not only on the way in, on the way out as well. So now you try to figure it out and bring it together.
“So next morning, you wake up. It’s not a day where we pick up the newspapers with joy and think ‘let’s look’. But we do and we still lost the game. But then all of a sudden, ‘Liverpool fans did this, Jurgen Klopp did that’ bam, bam, bam and you think ‘Wow, how is that possible? What are they talking about?’
“Because all the information I got immediately was if the Liverpudlians would not have been as calm as they were, it could have been completely different, so much worse than it was, when it was already really bad.”
The German, who led Liverpool to the Carabao Cup and FA Cup double last season, as well as finishing just one point behind Premier League winners Manchester City, has also urged UEFA to provide safety guarantees to travelling supporters.
“Now, step by step, we get more information about how it really was and who was really responsible.
“How could it have happened? Everybody needs to know about it, not because it will change anything for this game. But it has to be changed for the next games, big events, wherever it will be because supporters have to be protected.
“We are in Europe, you should just be happy to go everywhere. You travel there to watch the game and go home, whether you have to go in or say where is the fan park. And that’s it.
“So that’s what we have to guarantee. And that’s what UEFA has to guarantee. And that’s why everybody in France needs to make sure that we know exactly why it happened and what happened.”