Liverpool fans vindicated by report finding 'reprehensible' UEFA and French authorities wrongly blamed them for 2022 Champions League final chaos
Disruption took place outside the Stade de France in Paris on the night of the Champions League final, where Real Madrid played against Liverpool, and congestion threatened to cause bodily harm to supporters caught in tight spaces. The match was delayed because of problems entering the stadium, with tear gas being used by authorities on the people packed close together.
An UEFA-commissioned report has now found significant failures in organisation and safety resulted in thousands of fans being put through a traumatic experience outside the ground. This included supporters with tickets not getting into the stadium, and thousands being subjected to congestion, crushing, attacks from local criminals and brutality from the police in a terrifying night for many, that could've resulted in far more serious consequences.
A panel's review has concluded that UEFA bears "primary responsibility" for the chaotic scenes that endangered the lives of supporters who were merely trying to attend one of the most storied events on the sporting calendar.
Liverpool fans had been blamed by authorities for the pre-match situation and falsely accused of a massive fake ticket scheme, but the report calls those accusations a "reprehensible" attempt to shift blame.
The Paris Prefecture of Police has been heavily criticised for failing to prevent or remedy congestion on a notoriously problematic access route to the stadium, allowing "weaponry" such as tear gas and pepper spray to be used against supporters and standing by while fans were mugged and assaulted by locals.
Liverpool have since released a statement on their official website about the report, expressing dismay that the report was leaked through the media before being communicated to them.
"It’s hugely disappointing that a report of such significance, such importance to football supporters’ lives and future safety, should be leaked and published in this way," Liverpool wrote. "It’s been over eight months of work by the independent panel and it is only right and proper to publish the contents of the report to our supporters appropriately. We will await to receive a copy of the report and digest it thoroughly before making any further comment."
The report looked forward to this year's Rugby World Cup and the 2024 Olympics, both of which will be held in Paris, and called for the chaos at the Champions League final to serve as a "wake-up call" in order to safely host similar events.