Liverpool call on UEFA to enact safety recommendations after Champions League final 'near-miss'

By Sports Desk February 14, 2023

Liverpool have called on UEFA to enact the recommendations of a report which found the governing body "primarily responsible" for the "near-miss" at last year's Champions League final in Paris. 

UEFA commissioned an independent review after dangerous scenes marred Liverpool's meeting with Real Madrid at the Stade de France in May, with English fans targeted with tear gas by French police as they struggled to enter the venue.

European football's governing body initially blamed delays to kick-off on thousands of supporters using "fake tickets", with a similar narrative pushed by French government figures.

The review's findings were published on Monday, with the report holding UEFA responsible as event organiser while also criticising the actions of the French Football Federation and police.

The report outlined 21 recommendations for avoiding similar incidents in the future, including for safety and security to be at the forefront of planning and matches to be managed with a "facilitation and service" approach towards supporters, rather than viewing them as a public order problem.

Liverpool urged UEFA to heed the report on Tuesday, saying: "Liverpool FC welcomes the report into the chaos at the UEFA Champions League final in Paris, which fully vindicates Liverpool fans while finding UEFA primarily responsible for organisational failings.

"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 fixture.

"Even before the delayed kick-off was announced, we called on officials at the top of UEFA to delay kick-off and take control of the chaos. We also called on UEFA to launch a full independent and transparent investigation.

"We knew that it was critical to understand why both Liverpool and Real Madrid supporters found themselves in the situation where their safety was put at risk.

"Shocking false narratives were peddled in the immediate aftermath of that night in Paris; narratives that have since been totally disproven.

"It is shocking that more than 30 years after the Hillsborough disaster, any club and our group of fans would be subject to such fundamental safety failings which have had such a devastating impact on so many.

"But even more concerning is the realisation that for families, friends and survivors of Hillsborough, Paris has only exacerbated their suffering.

"As a football club with proud history in Europe, we call on UEFA to do the right thing and implement the 21 recommendations to ensure the safety of all football supporters attending any future UEFA football match."

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