European football governing body, UEFA has apologised to Liverpool and Real Madrid fans after they were caught up in events that happened during the Champions League final
According to Liverpool fans, they experienced heavy-handed policing, organisational chaos and overcrowding at last Saturday’s showpiece game in Paris.
French authorities and UEFA had blamed late arrivals and fake tickets for chaotic scenes outside the Stade de France, which caused the match to be delayed by more than half an hour.
While Police used tear gas and pepper spray on some fans it also emerged that supporters were targeted by local gangs.
“No football fan should be put in that situation, and it must not happen again,” said a Uefa statement on Friday, June 3
“Uefa wishes to sincerely apologise to all spectators who had to experience or witness frightening and distressing events in the build-up to the Uefa Champions League final at the Stade de France on 28 May 2022 in Paris, on a night which should have been a celebration of European club football.”
French president, Emmanuel Macron said ticket holders who were blocked from entering the stadium by security staff must be reimbursed “as fast as possible”.
Macron said: “I have a thought for the families who have been pushed around, who have not been able to access the seats they had paid for.
“I have asked the government to clarify what happened, to determine the responsibilities and to explain them in detail to our compatriots, the British and the Spanish.
Liverpool legend Sir Kenny Dalglish said the apology was “a start” but added: “There is still a long way to go.
“This apology doesn’t cover the false message about the late kick off, events at the fan park, or what happened in the aftermath.”
Earlier on Friday, Real Madrid has issued a statement asking for answers about “unfortunate events” which occured at the game, which the Spanish team won 1-0.
The club also asked why the Stade de France was chosen for the game and who was “responsible for leaving the fans abandoned and defenceless”.
“Football has transmitted an image to the world which is far away from the values and goals which it should pursue,” said the statement.
Real Madrid cited “unfortunate events” which took place “in the surroundings of and at access points to the Stade de France, and even inside the stadium itself” and added their fans “fell victim to said events”.
They added: “We would like to know the reasons which led to this venue being chosen to host the final and the criteria used, taking into account the experiences of the day.
“Furthermore, we call for answers and explanations in order to determine those responsible for leaving the fans abandoned and defenceless. Fans who in general terms showed exemplary conduct at all times.