Radio presenter Roman Kemp has described the “really, really scary” moment he was tear-gassed in France over the weekend ahead of the Champions League final.
The 29-year-old said there was “immediate hostility” from French police after arriving at the Stade de France in Paris on Saturday May 28.
Speaking on his Capital Breakfast show on Monday, Kemp called on authorities to investigate discrimination “against Liverpool fans”.
He said police ushered thousands of Liverpool fans down a narrow alleyway less than a meter wide with a concrete wall on either side, causing a friend of his to have a panic attack.
And he accused officers of laughing at fans before tear-gassing them.
“Nobody starts and then suddenly tear gas is thrown at us,” he said. “All of a sudden the pepper spray is coming out from above, right around the gates and all that stuff.
“And people are panicking. There were boys. There were small children in there. People were trying to hold up their kids.”
Kemp said he saw a fan who was with his visually impaired father being pushed by police. He said “nothing happened” to provoke officials’ reaction, adding: “It was the worst experience I’ve ever had on a football pitch.”
The presenter also said he had seen genuine behavior from fans throughout the weekend, with Liverpool supporters in every bar he went to ahead of the game in which Spanish giants Real Madrid won 1-0 ‘showing respect the owners”.
“They didn’t flock to the streets. It was great. Honestly, they stuck to their territories,” he said. “There were no difficulties. I haven’t seen a fight or anything that people associate with “football hooliganism” and things like that. There was nothing. (All were) very, very polite.”
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He said he was “really upset” by tweets suggesting that Liverpool fans were to blame, adding: “I’m not a Liverpool fan but I’ll tell you straight away they did absolutely nothing wrong. And it was just so, so horrible. It was discriminatory towards Liverpool fans.
“And the reason I say they should investigate it is because when we got there all the Real Madrid fans were there and the Liverpool fans weren’t there at all. it was crazy It was absolutely insane.”
He continued, “And then they have the gall to say, ‘Oh, the game has started (delayed) because of the late arrival of the fans.’ It was not! They wouldn’t let you in! It was really, really scary.”
France’s sports minister, Amelie Oudea-Castera, blamed fans with fake tickets for the chaos.
British MPs have called for an inquiry to condemn the way the Premier League club’s supporters have been treated. Ian Byrne, Labor MP for Liverpool West Derby, who attended the game, said he had not witnessed such scenes since the 1989 Hillsborough disaster.
He has written Foreign Minister Liz Truss with a list of seven demands for UEFA and the French authorities, including a formal investigation and apologies.
https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/news/roman-kemp-champions-league-final-tear-gas-b2090358.html Champions League final: Roman Kemp on the ‘scary’ moment he was tear gassed at the game in Paris