French Sports Minister Amélie Oudéa-Castéram, left, and Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin were summoned for a hearing at the country's Senate ©Getty Images

French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin has apologised to Liverpool fans for the treatment they received at the UEFA Champions League final in Paris, despite defending the handling of the events at the Parc des Princes on Saturday (May 28).

Darmanin, who admitted that the match could have been planned better, claimed that the use of tear gas stopped crowd crushes, and expressed regret that people, including children, were hurt.

"Clearly things could have been organised better," he told a Senate Committee.

"It is evident that this celebration of sport was ruined and we very much regret the troubles which were sometimes unacceptable."

He added: "I am very sincerely sorry for that disproportionate use and sanctions will be taken."

Darmanin remarked he had seen two examples where tear gas was used "contrary to regulation".

Minister of Sports Amélie Ouéda-Castéra repeated her apology to Liverpool fans who had "perfectly valid tickets".

Nevertheless, both Darmanin and Ouéda-Castéra sought to defend the conduct of the French authorities, with the Interior Minister insisting that a section of the Liverpool fanbase was a public disorder risk.

Darmanin said: "It is clear - all the security services notes say so - that the people of Liverpool pose public order problems.

"Not all its supporters, but a small part of its supporters."

Darmanin alleged that Liverpool fans were involved in similar problems regarding fake tickets and the number of people outside the stadium when the English club played Tottenham Hotspur Football Club in the 2019 Champions League final.

Ouéda-Castéra also claimed that "we need to remember" the violence at Wembley Stadium for the UEFA European Championships final between England and Italy as she looked to deflect blame.

Liverpool supporters were pepper sprayed by French police and fans with tickets were left in massive queues, leading the match with Spanish side Real Madrid to be delayed by 35 minutes.

The senators leading the hearing claimed the events which saw French police clash with Liverpool fans "offered a poor image of France on the international scene".

With France set to host next year’s Rugby World Cup and the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics, the senators said the scenes also "sparked strong concerns about its ability to organise international competition with a high level of security".

Criticism has been levelled at Oudéa-Castéra and Darmanin after they both blamed the police violence on ticket fraud.

Oudéa-Castéra claimed approximately 30,000 to 40,000 people who came to Paris either had no tickets or fake tickets and believed 2,500 tickets were falsely sold to supporters.

Liverpool chairman Tom Werner has issued a letter to Oudéa-Castéra, demanding an apology for her "irresponsible, unprofessional and wholly disrespectful" comments.

Werner has accused the French official of making a "series of unproven pronouncements on a matter of such significance before a proper, formal, independent investigation process has even taken place".

"The events that occurred in and around the Stade de France on Saturday night at the UEFA Champions League Final were not only incredibly dangerous for all who attended, but raised serious questions about the organization and operation of the event,"  Werner wrote.

"This should be the focus of all interested parties today rather than pursuing a blame game strategy via press conference."

Werner said fans were "treated like cattle" after being "forced to go through a gauntlet".

Liverpool chairman Tom Werner has accused French Sports Minister Amélie Oudéa-Castéra of making
Liverpool chairman Tom Werner has accused French Sports Minister Amélie Oudéa-Castéra of making "irresponsible" comments ©Getty Images

"I have received countless emails from Liverpool supporters who were frightened to death, and subject to police harassment, pepper spray and tear gas," Werner added.

"Moreover, the situation was no better at the end of the evening than at the beginning, with many fans robbed, and attacked by gangs."

In response, Oudéa-Castéra said she was "sorry" for those supporters who had "valid tickets" but "spent a terrible evening or were not able to watch the game".

"There were Liverpool supporters in good standing, whose evening was ruined and who were not even able to attend this match," said Oudéa-Castéra.

"These people clearly deserve an apology, and it is with great pain that I can imagine how they felt."

Darmanin said "massive industrial-scale" ticket fraud saw too many Liverpool fans turn up at the stadium, which led to 30 people arrested at the venue, mostly British citizens.

But Eric Ciotti, a far-right lawmaker in France, has accused Darmanin of making remarks that were "completely false and deceptive".

UEFA initially said fans had turned up late to the stadium, but Merseyside Police said the majority of Liverpool fans arrived early and behaved in an "exemplary manner".

An independent report has been commissioned by UEFA on "decision-making, responsibility and behaviours of all entities involved" at the Stade de France, which is set to hold athletics and rugby sevens at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.