Roman Kemp has recalled the ‘scary’ moment he was tear-gassed at the Champions League Final in France over the weekend.
The Capital Breakfast presenter spoke about his appearance at the anticipated football match, which saw Liverpool lose out to Real Madrid 1-0, and claimed there was ‘hostility’ from French police as well as discrimination ‘against Liverpool fans’.
Terrified children were left with tears ‘streaming down their faces’ after police fired tear gas during chaos at Saturday’s final, while kick-off was delayed by 36 minutes after dangerous bottlenecks and near-crushes were caused near the stadium entrance.
Speaking on this morning’s radio show, the 29-year-old said police funnelled the thousands of Liverpool fans through a narrow alleyway, which was under a metre wide and had a concrete wall on either side, causing one of his friends to have a panic attack.
He also went on to accuse officers of laughing at fans before tear gassing them.
Roman said on Monday: ‘No one is kicking off and then all of a sudden, tear gas starts getting thrown at us. All of a sudden, the pepper spray starts coming out from the top, right around the gates, and all those types of things.
Roman, wearing a Real Madrid top, took in the game with his friends over the weekend (Picture: Instagram/ romankemp)
‘And people are panicking. There were boys there. Young kids were in there. People trying to hold up their kids.’
He said he saw one fan, who was with his visually impaired father, allegedly being pushed by police.
The presenter went on to insist ‘nothing was happening’ to provoke officers’ response, and added: ‘It was the worst experience I’ve ever had in a football ground.’
Roman said he saw upstanding behaviour from fans all weekend, with Liverpool supporters ‘respectful of the owners’ at every bar he went into ahead of the match.
He added: ‘They weren’t spilling out on to the street. It was great. Honestly, they were sticking to their areas. There was no trouble. I didn’t see one fight or anything that people associate with “football hooliganism” and things like that. There was nothing. (Everyone was) really, really polite.’
French police used tear gas on football fans outside the stadium (Picture: Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)
Fans were seen queuing out the front of the stadium (Picture: Thomas COEX / AFP)
Saying he has been ‘really annoyed’ at tweets suggesting Liverpool fans were to blame, he went on: ‘I’m not a Liverpool fan but I’ll tell you right now, they did absolutely nothing wrong.
‘And it was just so, so horrendous. It was discriminatory against Liverpool fans.
‘And the reason I say that they should investigate it is because when we got in there, all the Real Madrid fans were in there and the Liverpool fans were not in there at all. It was crazy. It was absolutely crazy.
‘And then they have the cheek of it to say, “Oh, the game’s kicked off (late) because of the late arrival of fans”. It wasn’t! They wouldn’t let you in! It was really, really scary.’
France’s sports minister Amelie Oudea-Castera blamed fans with fake tickets for causing the chaos.
British MPs have called for an investigation amid condemnation of the way the Premier League club’s supporters were treated, with Ian Byrne, Labour MP for Liverpool West Derby, who attended the match, saying he has not witnessed such scenes since the 1989 Hillsborough disaster.
He has written to Foreign Secretary Liz Truss with a list of seven demands, including a formal probe and apologies, aimed at UEFA and the French authorities.
Capital Breakfast with Roman Kemp airs weekdays from 6–10am on Capital and Global Player.