BREAKING NEWS: UEFA REFUNDS all Liverpool fans at chaotic Champions League final in Paris in £3MILLION payout for 19,618 Reds supporters who helped prevent a ‘mass fatality catastrophe’
- UEFA previously blamed Liverpool fans for the trouble at last year’s final in Paris
- But an independent report commissioned by UEFA cleared the Reds supporters
- Liverpool’s fan groups welcomed the European governing body’s decision
UEFA is bringing back all Liverpool fans who attended last year’s Champions League final in Paris in an unprecedented move likely to cost millions and a further recognition of how far UEFA have gone wrong organization of show-piece events.
An independent report commissioned by UEFA concluded that only the calmness of Liverpool fans prevented a ‘mass fatality catastrophe’ after finding that UEFA sidelined safety and security, with French police acting incapacitated by firing tear gas into the crowd and French Interior Minister Gerard Darmanin inflated the number of ticketless fans ‘as an excuse to hide other frustrations’.
UEFA has since apologized and promised to implement the report’s recommendations but it is the most significant act of remorse and will cost Europe’s governing body millions of pounds.
A statement from the governing body read: ‘We have considered a large number of views expressed both publicly and privately and we believe we have come up with a procedure that is comprehensive and fair.
‘We would appreciate the input from Liverpool FC supporter organizations Spirit of Shankly (SoS) and Liverpool Disabled Supporters Association (LDSA) as well as open and transparent dialogue throughout this period.
There were riotous scenes as Liverpool fans struggled to make it to the final in Paris last year
Liverpool fans were cleared of wrongdoing despite initially being found guilty by the authorities
Liverpool fans protested against UEFA during their side’s match against Real Madrid last month
‘We recognize the negative experiences supporters had on the day and in this way we will give back to fans who bought tickets and who were most affected by difficulties accessing the stadium.’
Many Liverpool fans have already sued UEFA in class actions and hundreds of fans with genuine tickets were refused entry due to rioting or because they were accused of having fake tickets because stewards were not trained and the equipment was faulty in scanning.
The highest priced tickets are €690 or £610 and the cheapest are €70 or £62 meaning UEFA’s bill for the 19,618 tickets issued to Liverpool fans is likely to cost around £3million .
In a sign that UEFA appears to be changing its stance, it also paid tribute to Football Supporters Europe, ahead of the pan-European fans’ campaigning organization and the Liverpool fans’ groups Spirit of Shankly and the Liverpool Disabled Supporters Association, both of which campaigned. on behalf of supporters caught up in the chaos.
In a statement, those fan groups said: ‘Spirit of Shankly and the Liverpool Disabled Supporters Association welcome today’s announcement from UEFA that they will be refunding all Liverpool FC ticket holders who attended in the Champions League final in Paris on May 22.
Supporters have called for key UEFA officials to resign and accused French ministers of being liars
Liverpool supporters were hoping to see their team take on Real Madrid in last summer’s final
The kick-off for the game was delayed with the late arrival of fans being blamed
‘This unprecedented step is the result of tireless work, with the FSE and Ian Byrne MP, to hold those responsible for the catastrophic events in Paris,.
‘With a promise to compensate supporters, UEFA has taken some steps to acknowledge their part in the failure.
‘But this does not absolve UEFA, exempt them from criticism or reduce the need for them to implement all the recommendations made by the Independent Inquiry.
‘We will work with LFC and publish details when we know how and when refunds will be processed.’
News/Image Sources: Daily Mail