Liverpool has asked UEFA, the European football authorities, to take better actions for fan safety after last season’s Champions League final debacle. They supported a critical report of the final’s management with recommendations to improve better handling and sent a strong word against the use of ‘false narratives’ placed on supporters.
UEFA had an independent panel that investigated last year’s Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool last May in Stade de France stadium in Paris. The panel found that UEFA had mismanaged the final which could have led to serious catastrophes. It also recognized the actions of the Liverpool fans to prevent any loss of life as many had an experience with the tragic Hillsborough disaster in 1989.
Liverpool soon responded after the panel’s investigation and condemned both UEFA and French authorities for worsening the situation. They also asked UEFA to properly implement the 21 recommendations that were included in the report to improve fan safety during UEFA games.
Liverpool released a statement on their website that read, “Last night UEFA published the Independent Panel Report into the failings that we saw first-hand in Paris and it is within this context that we call on UEFA and others at the top of the football regulation pyramid to come together and take positive and transparent action to ensure there are no more ‘near misses’.
We implore UEFA to fully enact the recommendations as outlined by the Panel – no matter how difficult – to ensure supporter safety is the number one priority at the heart of every UEFA football fixture.”
What went wrong at the Champions League final in Paris – Liverpool FC reaction:— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 14, 2023
Liverpool also condemned the false blame put on fans, “Shocking false narratives were peddled in the immediate aftermath of that night in Paris; narratives that have since been totally disproven. The independent French Senate report published in July 2022 found Liverpool supporters were unfairly and wrongly blamed for the chaotic scenes to divert attention from the real organizational failures. The independent Senate report also published 15 recommendations for improvements. No action has been taken on these recommendations to date.”
The last sentences were directed at UEFA and French authorities as they at first had blamed Liverpool fans for arriving late in the final which they claimed caused the 30-minute delay to start the match. French authorities also blamed many Liverpool fans for arriving without proper tickets and documents. The independent panel dismissed these accusations as an attempt to divert the blame.
Last year’s final saw many mismanagement issues. Liverpool fans were apparently forced into a turtleneck and overcrowded due to insufficient stewards. Police also deployed tear gas and pepper spray on the fans. Liverpool fans also reported mayhem after the game with reports of local gangs mobbing, robbing, and assaulting them.