By John Carney
AN ENNISKILLEN Liverpool football fan has described “the worst experience of his life” when he was caught in the mayhem before last weekend’s Champions League final in Paris.
James Lilley told how he was pepper-sprayed and tear-gassed by police so badly he had to be helped through the turnstile at the Stade de France by a steward as his eyes were so badly swollen.
“I was pepper-sprayed three times and tear-gassed twice along with thousands of other Liverpool fans trying to get into the stadium, while gangs of pickpockets went through the crowd trying to steal whatever they could get,” Mr Lilley, 28, said.
“By the time I got to the turnstile to get in a steward had to me help me through it and scan my ticket for me as my eyes had swollen up so much I couldn’t see. It was terrifying.”
Kick-off at the Stade de France in Paris was delayed by over half an hour with Liverpool ticket-holders seen waiting in huge queues, and French police later using tear gas and pepper spray on them.
On Monday, French authorities complained of what they called “industrial-scale” ticket fraud amid a row over the game’s policing. It was an allegation that Mr Lilley, who works for Lilley’s Fuels and Lubricants in Enniskillen, denied.
“I saw no fake tickets being sold or Liverpool fans acting badly. It was just police aggression. It was like they’d only found out the game was being played the day before. There was absolutely no organisation or preparation for it,” he said.
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