Liverpool refute Uefa claims of bad behaviour

LONDON - Sports minister Richard Caborn has backed Liverpool chief executive Rick Parry after a Uefa report criticised the behaviour of Liverpool fans.

LONDON - Sports minister Richard Caborn has backed Liverpool chief executive Rick Parry after a Uefa report criticised the behaviour of Liverpool fans.

European football's governing body said Reds fans had been involved in more incidents than any other in Europe.

But Parry said: "The shortcomings in the management of the situation in Athens were apparent to anyone there."

And Caborn said: "Uefa must stop playing the blame game and stop pointing fingers at people."

Ticketless fans caused trouble at May's Champions League final against AC Milan in Athens, though Liverpool officials and fans criticised security at the game. Uefa spokesman William Gaillard said the problems in Greece were typical of the behaviour of some Liverpool supporters during the past four years.

He said: "That was just the latest example. What other fans steal tickets from fellow fans or from the hands of children?"

But Parry hit back, saying: "What is most surprising about the latest comments from Gaillard is that on the eve of the final, he quite rightly commented that Liverpool supporters 'have a tradition of good behaviour'.

"You must ask yourself why, at the Champions League, with the same conditions, there was no trouble with the Milan fans - only the Liverpool fans."

"Let's not forget that these same supporters who Gaillard is claiming are now the worst in Europe were praised by Uefa president Michel Platini after our semifinal victory against Chelsea only last month.

"They were commended for their behaviour in Istanbul in 2005 and actually honoured by Uefa at a gala dinner in Monte Carlo in 2001 as joint supporters of the year with Alves after the Uefa Cup final." - BBC

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