A Paris police chief has apologised for tear-gassing football fans at the Champions League final, adding “maybe I was wrong”.
Some supporters pepper-sprayed and tear gassed as they tried to enter the Stade de France for the game between Liverpool and Real Madrid.
Speaking at the French Senate on Thursday, police chief Didier Lallement said he was sorry for authorising the use of tear gas but felt he had no other option under the circumstances.
Mr Lallement said: “It is obviously a failure. It was a failure because people were pushed around and attacked. It was a failure because the image of the country was undermined.”
He provided no evidence for his widely discredited claim that up to 40,000 supporters without tickets or with fake tickets attempted to enter the stadium.
“The figure has no scientific virtue but it came from feedback from police and public transport officials,” Mr Lallement added.
“Maybe I was wrong, but it was constructed from all the information harvested.
“Whether there are 30,000 or 40,000 people, it doesn’t change anything. What matters is that there were people, in large numbers, likely to disrupt the proper organisation of the filtering. But that we count them precisely to within 5,000, it doesn’t change much.”