Soccer fans who traveled to Stade de France in Paris for the Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid got more than they bargained for, thanks to security issues both inside and outside the stadium that resulted in multiple injuries.
UFC lightweight phenom Paddy Pimblett was among the English fans in attendance, but it doesn’t sound like “The Baddy” will be making a return trip to Gay Paree after some of his fellow countrymen were allegedly manhandled by police.
The video embedded above certainly doesn’t cast law enforcement in a positive light.
“Disgusting! Never catch me in Paris again like crazy shithole that,” Pimblett wrote on Twitter. “How anyone can go there for a weekend with their partner and feel safe! UEFA still try use an easy scapegoat in LFC fans instead of being honest, saying Paris couldn’t handle the final as locals took over!”
English ticketholders who were denied entry insist local fans stormed the stadium and caused a significant overflow, which in turn affected how security admitted the remaining attendees — to the point where the game was delayed by roughly 30 minutes.
UEFA, the sport’s governing body, painted a vastly different picture.
“The turnstiles at the Liverpool end became blocked by thousands fans who had purchased fake tickets which did not work in the turnstiles,” according to the official statement. “As numbers outside the stadium continued to build up after kick off, the police dispersed them with tear gas and forced them away from the stadium. UEFA is sympathetic to those affected by these events and will further review these matters urgently together with the French police and authorities, and with the French Football Federation.”
The problems didn’t end there.
Following the game, which ended in favor of Real Madrid by a score of 1-0, local hooligans were blamed for wolf pack-style attacks that had Pimblett — a professionally trained MMA fighter — legitimately concerned for his own health and safety.
“First time in a very long time I’ve actually been worried about my own safety and I can look after myself!” Pimblett wrote. “It’s different when there’s groups of 30 men running around wielding machetes robbing people at knife point and beating up defenseless old men. Madrid and Liverpool fans are not to blame for anything on Saturday. These were the scenes as I left the ground. In general fear you would be attacked by 20 men with weapons luckily enough we stayed in a pack and they didn’t come near us, just picked on vulnerable old men on their own.”
France’s interior minister promised “a full investigation” into last weekend’s debacle. As for Pimblett, he makes his Octagon return opposite “Contender Series” standout Jordan Leavitt as part of the UFC London event at O2 Arena in July.