According to a UEFA-commissioned assessment, the organisation is “primarily responsibility” for errors that “almost resulted in tragedy” during the Liverpool vs. Real Madrid Champions League final in Paris in 2022. According to the research, the police worldview was influenced by an incorrect impression of Liverpool supporters as a threat to public order based on the deadly Hillsborough disaster in 1989.
The panel “determined that UEFA, as event owner, bears primary responsibility for shortcomings that almost culminated in tragedy,” according to the report. The panel was surprised that the police worldview was influenced by a notion of Liverpool hooliganism based on Hillsborough. According to the report, the Saint-Denis Convention’s safety, security, and service paradigms were ignored in favour of a securitized approach.
The events surrounding the European football championship game overshadowed Real Madrid’s triumph on May 28 at the Stade de France. Kickoff was delayed by 37 minutes because fans struggled to reach the stadium after being squeezed into congested bottlenecks on approach. When hundreds of spectators were locked behind metal gates encircling the stadium, police started using tear gas.
UEFA then attempted to blame Liverpool fans for arriving late, despite the fact that hundreds of people had been waiting outside the stadium for hours before start. The French authorities then claimed that the problem was “industrial scale fraud” using bogus tickets. According to a July Senate study in France, poorly executed security measures were at the heart of the pandemonium.
Images of the final harmed France’s reputation for hosting major athletic events before to hosting the Rugby World Cup this year and the Olympic Games in 2024, both of which will involve events at the Stade de France. UEFA’s general secretary, Theodore Theodoridis, apologised for the errors that led the crowd’s organisation to fail and thanked Dr. Brandao Rodrigues and the report’s writing team for their efforts.
“On behalf of UEFA, I would like to sincerely apologise to all those who were touched by the events that occurred on what should have been a celebration at the conclusion of the club season,” Theodoridis stated.
In particular, I’d want to apologise to Liverpool FC supporters for remarks made before and during the game that wrongly blamed them for the delay.”
The independent review, which has already cost close to 500,000 euros, was requested on May 30, 2022, and it was made public on Monday. According to the statement, “UEFA is committed to learning from the occurrences” and has vowed to work more closely with stakeholders to ensure that fans can enjoy the game in a pleasant, safe, and secure environment. Liverpool had already voiced “extreme displeasure” that the assessment had been released prematurely.
“It has been almost eight months since the independent panel started its work, and it is only fair and acceptable to share the study’s conclusions with our fans properly,” Liverpool said in a statement.