Jake Humphrey issues an on-air apology to Liverpool fans over BT Sport’s Champions League final coverage – which saw them repeat false statements from UEFA – as Steven Gerrard brands the treatment of supporters in Paris a ‘DISGRACE’
- UEFA absolved Liverpool fans of any blame for the chaotic scenes this month
- Kick-off in the final was delayed by 40 minutes as fans were teargassed in Paris
- LIVE: Liverpool take on Real Madrid in repeat of 2022 Champions League final
BT Sport presenter Jake Humphrey has apologised to Liverpool supporters for relaying ‘false statements’ about the chaotic scenes in Paris before last season’s Champions League final.
UEFA conducted a review into the dangerous scenes outside the Stade de France last May, which resulted in kick-off between Liverpool and Real Madrid being delayed by 40 minutes as masses of fans were targeted with teargas by police.
French authorities and UEFA initially held ticketless Reds fans culpable for the shambolic events that transpired before the final, a narrative which was swiftly ruled out by a number of Sportsmail reporters on the scene in Paris.
During their live coverage on the night, Humphrey and BT Sport repeated statements on the big screen at the Stade de France that kick-off had been delayed due to supporters arriving late at the ground, while reports of fans causing unrest were also mentioned.
Yet earlier this month Liverpool supporters were officially cleared of any wrongdoing following UEFA’s investigation, which declared there is no evidence to support the agenda that was pursued by French authorities in Paris to make them scapegoats.
BT Sport presenter Jake Humphrey has apologised to Liverpool supporters over their coverage of last season’s Champions League final
UEFA absolved Reds fans of any blame for the chaotic scenes outside the Stade de France
Humphrey and BT Sport relayed statements blaming late supporters for the delay to kick-off
Prior to their reunion with Madrid at Anfield in this season’s last-16 on Tuesday, Humphrey issued an on-air apology to Liverpool fans over their coverage of the 2022 final.
‘We are hugely regretful that we were reading out those false statements, the only statements shared on the big screens as we were inside the stadium was a completely false narrative,’ he said.
‘I just want to say sorry to all the people involved in this football club, the stress was added to you because of us sharing that information, which we now know to be completely false.
‘The truth is that those football fans that were being accused were out there saving the lives of other football fans, including our family members and our friends.’
Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard, working alongside Humphrey for BT Sport on Tuesday, was relieved to see the club’s supporters cleared of any blame following UEFA’s review, describing the treatment they received in Paris last year as a ‘disgrace’.
Gerrard said: ‘I think that news was very welcome in this stadium and amongst every Liverpool fan. It is not good enough. I think the treatment of the fans on the night was a disgrace.
‘[It was] the only time as a pundit I’ve never really enjoyed being there. Having no signal inside the ground, no internet connection, we were getting the wrong information fed to us. You have family and friends outside the stadium and the treatment was a disgrace basically. Thankfully the independent investigation was clear and there was no blame to Liverpool fans.
But Humphrey has apologised to Liverpool fans for repeating what were ‘false’ claims
Reds legend Steven Gerrard claimed treatment of fans in Paris was a ‘disgrace’ on the night
‘That is what Liverpool fans do they stick together. I think the important thing moving forward is that there has to be accountability. This investigation took too long. Now that it is clear and the truth is out there, someone needs to be held accountable. We will see what happens moving forwards.’
UEFA’s 220-page report concluded with over 20 recommendations for hosting and organising future events, and Liverpool have challenged Europe’s governing body to ensure they are adhered to going forward in order to ‘do the right thing for the safety of supporters’.
Gerrard’s fellow BT Sport pundit Rio Ferdinand added on the events in Paris: ‘It screams of prejudice, being judged before. For us in the stadium in a protected area, we still felt quite vulnerable ourselves. Even walking out of the stadium I felt on edge because of how the police were treating people.
‘There needs to be accountability and some people need to be put to the sword because of this. They need to say we got this wrong and the police are part of that.’
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