UEFA blames the chaos of the Champions League final that “almost led to disaster”

FILE PHOTO: Champions League Final – Liverpool vs Real Madrid – Stade de France, Saint-Denis near Paris, France – May 28, 2022 General view of a message displayed on a large screen inside the stadium before of the delay of the start of the match REUTERS / Kai Pfaffenbach

LIVERPOOL, England – A review of the chaos ahead of the 2022 Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid has said the organizers, UEFA, were responsible for the events that unfolded, including a “large number of near misses that almost led to disaster.”

European soccer’s governing body UEFA has apologized to Liverpool for initially blaming the Merseyside club’s fans for the chaos following the publication of an independent review on Monday.

The final was delayed 36 minutes after thousands of Liverpool supporters were prevented from entering the Stade de France for the May 28 match, which Real Madrid won 1-0, while French police were filmed using tear gas at the fans, including women and children.

UEFA and French authorities at the time blamed the chaos on ticket fraud, although the review said there was no evidence to support such claims.

The final “will be remembered as a moment of suffering for many fans, but it should also be a reminder of a situation that we certainly do not want to witness again in the future at any sporting event in Europe or anywhere in the world,” Tiago Brandao said. . Rodrigues, a member of Portugal’s parliament, who chaired the investigation.

“Avoiding future disasters and improving the service provided at soccer events was the focus of the Panel’s work during this process,” he added in the 220-page review, which featured a panel that included legal, police and event management consultants. as well as representatives. from fan groups.

UEFA general secretary Theodore Theodoridis said the football body “would like to once again very sincerely apologize to all those who were affected by the events that unfolded in what should have been a celebration at the pinnacle of the club season”.

He added: “In particular, I would like to apologize to Liverpool FC supporters for the experiences that many of them had when they attended the game and for the messages posted before and during the game that had the effect of unfairly blaming them for the situation that led to the game. kick-off delayed.

Liverpool said they were disappointed not to have received a copy of the report before it appeared in various British media outlets hours before it was officially released.

“It is hugely disappointing that a report of such importance to the lives of football fans and their future safety should be leaked and published in this way,” the Merseyside club said in a statement.

“It has been more than eight months of work by the independent panel and it is right and proper to publish the content of the report to our supporters in an appropriate manner.”


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