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Tuesday Cannon Fodder: tribes

Liverpool Fans in Paris - UEFA Champions League Final Photo by Nick Potts/PA Images via Getty Images

What happened to the Liverpool fans trying to get into the Champions League final was horrendous. It was incredibly dangerous. We’re fortunate that there weren’t any deaths or serious injuries. That type of thing ought never to happen at a football match, especially not a showpiece final hosted in a city (Paris) that has hosted numerous massive sporting events and will host the 2024 summer Olympics.

I’ve got two focal point, takeaways for us to contemplate today.

First: don’t blindly trust the explanation of a situation from the local government, hosting authorities, whoever. As the old journalists adage goes, trust but verify.

The party line is that tens of thousands of Liverpool supporters bought fake tickets, creating the chaos that happened. The supporters say it was horrendous crowd control, funneling people into small areas, not enough entrances, and so on. From my personal experience at the Stade de France a few years ago, I can confirm that it has an oddly designed ingress / egress flow. I can absolutely see how dangerous bottlenecks happened.

The truth lies somewhere in the middle, although it seems to me that in this case it’s much closer to what the Liverpool supporters are saying and British journalists are uncovering than the government explanation. And that’s supported from the pictures and videos I’ve seen of the fans from hours before the match.

Second: don’t ever let tribalism come before humanity. We’re all human beings first, supporters second.

Some of the takes I’ve seen are shocking. They range from callous indifference to actively wishing harm on other human beings because they support a different football team.

Really people? What happened on Saturday was incredibly dangerous. People could have been seriously hurt or killed. If you can’t look past the red kit to see the human being wearing it, you need to examine how you got to that point and make some changes.