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Liverpool have implored UEFA to fully implement all the recommendations made in the highly-critical independent report into the last year’s Champions League final chaos.
European football’s governing body commissioned a team led by Portuguese Dr Tiago Brandao Rodrigues to look into issues of dangerous congestion, supporters being attacked by locals and tear-gassed by police and the all-round operation at the Stade de France in May and it lays the blame at the feet of UEFA and the French authorities.
The report stated UEFA bore “primary responsibility for failures” which almost led to the final against Real Madrid becoming a “mass fatality catastrophe”.
“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’,” said a Liverpool statement.
“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.”
The statement added: “We knew that it was critical to understand why both Liverpool and Real Madrid supporters found ourselves in the situation where supporters’ safety was put at risk.
“We were determined to make sure a robust investigation was conducted in order that lessons are learned to ensure the safety of football supporters in Europe is never compromised again.”
The report also fully exonerated fans who were initially blamed by UEFA for arriving late at the ground and causing the kick-off to be delayed by more than half-an-hour.
French authorities also inaccurately claimed the problems were due to thousands of fans without tickets or forgeries trying to gain access.
“Shocking false narratives were peddled in the immediate aftermath of that night in Paris; narratives that have since been totally disproven,” said Liverpool’s statement.
“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 organisational failures.”
Many fans who attended the Stade de France were survivors, or relatives of victims, of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster in which 97 people were killed and for them in particular the events of that night were particularly traumatic.
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
“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,” said the statement.
“But even more concerning is the realisation that for families, friends and survivors of Hillsborough, Paris has only exacerbated their suffering.
“Our thoughts go out to all our fans who have suffered as a result of Paris and we would remind them of the mental health support we put in place in the days following the disaster that was the UEFA Champions League final in Paris.
“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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