“No football fan should be put in that situation, and it must not happen again” – Uefa apologizes to Liverpool and Real Madrid fans
UEFA, the governing body of European football, has apologized to Liverpool and Real Madrid fans who were wrapped up in the events of the Champions League final.
Last Saturday’s showpiece game in Paris was marred by heavy-handed police, organizational disarray, and congestion, according to Liverpool supporters.
Late arrivals and bogus tickets were accused by French authorities and UEFA for the tumultuous scenes outside of the Stade de France, which prompted the match to be delayed by more than half an hour.
While police deployed tear gas and pepper spray on some supporters, it was also revealed that local gangs were targeting them.
“No football fan should be put in such predicament, and it must never happen again,” Uefa stated in a statement on June 3.
“On a night that should have been a celebration of European club football, Uefa wishes to sincerely apologize to all spectators who had to suffer or witness terrifying and disturbing incidents in the build-up to the Uefa Champions League final at the Stade de France on 28 May 2022 in Paris.”
Ticket holders who were denied entry to the stadium by security personnel must be refunded “as soon as possible,” according to French President Emmanuel Macron.”
I have a concern for the families who have been pushed around, who have been denied access to the seats they paid for,” Macron added.
“I have requested that the administration clarify what occurred, define the parties’ obligations, and explain them to our compatriots, the British and the Spanish, in full.”
Sir Kenny Dalglish, a Liverpool icon, described the apology as “a start,” but added, “There is still a long way to go.”
“This apology does not include the erroneous statement regarding the late kickoff, the events at the fan park, or the events that followed.”
Real Madrid published a statement earlier on Friday, requesting information on “unfortunate occurrences” that occurred during the game, which the Spanish team won 1-0.
The group also inquired as to why the Stade de France was picked for the game and who was “responsible for abandoning and defending the supporters.”
“Football has sent out a message to the world that is far apart from the ideals and purposes that it should be pursuing,” the statement added.
Real Madrid noted “unfortunate occurrences” that occurred “in the vicinity of and at entrance points to the Stade de France, as well as inside the stadium itself,” adding that its supporters “fell victim to those events.”
They also stated: “We’d like to know why this location was picked to host the final, as well as the criteria that were employed, taking into mind the day’s events.
“Furthermore, we want answers and explanations in order to identify those who are guilty for abandoning and defending the fans. Fans who, in general, acted in a professional manner at all times.