UEFA confirm ‘comprehensive review’ of Champions League final chaos in Paris
UEFA have confirmed that a full and independent review will be carried out into the chaotic scenes that marked Saturday’s Champions League final in Paris.
Liverpool fans were sprayed with tear gas after waiting in huge queues ahead of the Real Madrid clash at the Stade de France, with access issues resulting in a 36-minute kick-off delay.
European governing body UEFA initially blamed the late arrival of fans for the delay before later issuing a statement blaming the problems with counterfeit tickets.
The organization has now responded to calls for a full investigation by confirming that a review of the events will be conducted by Dr Tiago Brandão Rodrigues, member of the Portuguese parliament and former member of the World Anti-Doping Agency Foundation Board.
A statement read: “UEFA today announced that it has commissioned an independent report into the events surrounding the UEFA Champions League final in Paris on Saturday 28 May.
“The comprehensive review will examine the decision-making, accountability and behaviors of all entities involved in the finale.”
He added: “Evidence will be collected from all parties involved and the findings of the independent report will be made public once completed and, upon receipt of the findings, UEFA will assess next steps.”
The review comes after French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin reiterated allegations of counterfeit notes, saying the fraud took place at “industrial level”.
French authorities are under increasing pressure over their management of fans and security in general, but Darmanin said an influx of fans with unauthorized tickets, or no tickets at all, was the biggest problem.
“There was massive fraud at the industrial level and an organization of counterfeit tickets, 70% of the tickets were counterfeit tickets entering the Stade de France,” Darmanin told a press conference.
“Over 2,600 were confirmed by UEFA as non-validated tickets despite having gone through the first screening.
“The massive presence of counterfeit tickets was the problem that caused the delays, three times the game was delayed.
“I would like to express our regret over the organization of the final because some people were unable to see the entire match. I regret the errors that have occurred before.
Representatives of local authorities, the police and the final organizers gathered to take stock of the events on Monday.
Amélie Oudea-Castera, France’s sports minister, continued to denounce the fraud and said there were thousands of counterfeit tickets.
She said: “The major point is to try to understand precisely what happened during this massive fraud. There are witnesses and the figures corroborate it, 30,000-40,000 people without tickets or with fake banknotes and we saw counterfeit notes.
“We can see they are professional and that means some checks didn’t notice.”
This version of events has been disputed by Liverpool supporters and the independent media.
Ian Byrne, Labor MP for Liverpool West Derby, attended the game as a fan and said he had never witnessed such scenes since the Hillsborough disaster in 1989.
He wrote to Foreign Secretary Liz Truss with a list of seven demands, including an official investigation and an apology, aimed at UEFA and the French authorities.
In his letter he said: “The French authorities and UEFA are simply covering their backs with this story.
“As a Liverpool fan I was in Paris for the game and can honestly say the off-field situation was one of the most horrific experiences of my life – and as a Hillsborough survivor I don’t make that comment lightly.”
Merseyside police observers also described the behavior of the vast majority of supporters as ‘exemplary’, although their counterparts in the Paris Prefecture said some had ‘used force’ in an attempt to break into Stadium.
Liverpool have called on fans who attended the game to share their experiences via a feedback form on their website.
The best videos delivered daily
Watch the stories that matter, straight from your inbox
Comments are closed.