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HomeChampions LeagueUEFA blamed for ‘reprehensible’ failings at Champions League final

UEFA blamed for ‘reprehensible’ failings at Champions League final

UEFA have taken the blame for the disturbing scenes at last season’s Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid, following an internal review by the governing body.

French police and the French Football Federation have also been criticised following the pre-game scenes outside the Stade de France, in which large numbers of supporters were penned in against fences with pepper-spray, shields and batons used to disperse supporters.

 

Initial claims stated that large numbers of ticketless Liverpool fans were behind the disturbance, which led to a 37-minute delay of kick-off for the final in Paris. The scenes drew comparisons to the Hillsborough disaster and Liverpool called for a formal investigation into the cause of the ‘unacceptable issues’.

UEFA have now released a report following their review and has taken ‘primary responsibility’ for the events, clearing the Liverpool supporters of blame for the ‘drastic failures’ which could have led to a ‘mass fatality catastrophe’.

“The panel has concluded that Uefa, as event owner, bears primary responsibility for failures which almost led to disaster,” says the report, as per the Telegraph.

“It is remarkable that no one lost their life. All the stakeholders interviewed by the panel have agreed that this situation was a near-miss: a term used when an event almost turns into a mass fatality catastrophe.”

“The panel concludes that assertions regarding huge numbers of ticketless supporters, and those with fake tickets, have been wrongly inflated and have been stated as fact, to deflect responsibility for the planning and operational failures of stakeholders.

“This is reprehensible and has involved Uefa, Uefa Events SA [Uefa’s events organising arm], FFF, the Préfecture de Police, government officials and French ministers.

“The panel is also troubled by a number of stark differences as to the facts of what happened, and a general default position of blaming the Liverpool supporters, without any proper evidential basis.”

Read – Five talking points ahead of the Champions League action

Read Also – Iconic Performances: Prime Messi twists Bayern Munich inside and out

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