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Jake Humphrey issues on-air apology to Liverpool fans over Champions League final | Football

BT Sport were criticised for their handling of the chaos in Paris (Pictures: Getty)

Jake Humphrey has apologised to Liverpool supporters over BT Sport’s coverage of the Champions League final and the chaos that saw fans wrongly accused of trouble-making.

Earlier this month, an official inquiry into the events in Paris last May blamed UEFA for the fiasco that saw supporters including women, children and disabled fans tear-gassed by riot police, mugged by armed gangs and kettled into dangerous crushes as they tried to enter the stadium.

Initially, however, the French government, police and UEFA had put the blame on Liverpool supporters, claiming thousands of fans with fake tickets had tried to enter the stadium – which was not true.

Kick-off was delayed and UEFA put a message on the stadium big screen saying this was due to the ‘late arrival of fans’ – something that incensed Liverpool supporters who had arrived early only to be put through hours of dangerous chaos.

BT Sport’s coverage parroted this message, while Humphrey and his panel of pundits made reference to ‘reports’ of trouble outside the ground – though they did not investigate or show any footage from outside the stadium.

Now Humphrey – speaking ahead of Tuesday night’s rematch of the final, which sees Real Madrid travel to Anfield – has apologised on behalf of BT Sport for helping to portray a false narrative about the role Liverpool supporters played in the chaos.

‘We are hugely regretful that we were reading out those false statements. The only statements shared on the big screens inside the stadium, as we all remember, was a completely false narrative,’ said the presenter at the start of Tuesday’s show.

Liverpool fans with legitimate tickets were turned into scapegoats (Picture: PA)

‘And I just want to say sorry to all the people involved in this football club, who 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 fans, including our family members and our friends.’

Pundit Steven Gerrard, who was in Paris back in May, added: ‘That’s what Liverpool fans do, they stick together and try and help each other and they’re there for each other.

‘I think the important thing now moving forward is there needs to be accountability. This investigation took too long, Jake, and now that it’s clear and it’s out there someone needs to be held accountable and we’ll see what happens moving forward.’

On the independent report absolving Liverpool fans of any blame, he continued: ‘I think that news was very welcome in this stadium and amongst every Liverpool fan because it’s not good enough. I thought the treatment on the night was a disgrace.

‘I think it’s the only time as a pundit I’ve never really enjoyed it being there. We didn’t have any signal inside the ground, no internet connection, we were getting the wrong information led to us.

‘There was a lot of confusion, we had family and friends that are outside the stadium and the treatment was a disgrace basically. But thankfully the independent investigation has come clear and there’s no blame to Liverpool fans, which is very important.’

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