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"I could not believe the patience of Liverpool fans" - Henry Winter

Liverpool fans prevented a tragedy in Paris by remaining calm, according to Henry Winter.

Cian Fahey
Cian Fahey

20:08 30 May 2022



Times Sport's Chief Football Writer Henry Winter joined The Football Show on Monday.

Liverpool's loss to Real Madrid in the Champions League final is the second biggest story in sports right now.

Unfortunately, most journalists and fans are still talking about what happened outside the ground. Liverpool fans were pepper sprayed. They were refused entry with valid tickets. And many of them missed the game they had travelled to see.

But it gets even worse as French government officials are blaming the fans.

While some fans of other teams are glad to go along with the criticism of Liverpool fans, the journalists who attended the game widely condemn the organizers. Henry Winter was one of the media members who attended the game and left the stadium to see what happened outside.

"I looked into it," Winter said.

"A few of us went outside, it was probably about 45 minutes before kickoff, just to see what was going on. You could see immediately that there was no organization, there was no leadership. Some of the riot police were twitchy. And unfortunately English football fans have a reputation.

"The problem with the French police, unlike say the German police who take it situation by situation...they were just sort of unyielding. Unsmiling. They put obstacles in their way up from the station.

"There was no proper intelligent reaction from the French side."

"It was just poorly organized. There were no UEFA officials outside the ground as far as I could see."

The layout of the stadium itself is not particularly easy to follow. That has been an issue in the past for Ireland fans at Six Nations games. But this was different from a minor annoyance. The French involvement and the free use of pepper spray could have incited a much worse incident.

Winter believes that the fans deserve credit for protecting everyone involved. The police incited problems but the fans stayed calm. It would have been easy for the fans to let frustrations boil over, but instead they worked together to protect one another.

Winter recognized that so can't go along with the French criticisms of the fanbase.

"I could not believe the patience of the Liverpool fans."

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