UEFA will REFUND Liverpool fans at the Champions League final in Paris03/07/2023
BREAKING NEWS: UEFA will REFUND all Liverpool fans at the chaotic Champions League final in Paris in a £3MILLION pay-out for 19,618 Reds supporters who helped prevent a ‘mass fatality catastrophe’
- UEFA had previously blamed Liverpool fans for trouble at last year’s final in Paris
- But an independent report commissioned by UEFA cleared Reds supporters
- Liverpool fan groups welcomed the decision by the European governing body
UEFA are refunding all Liverpool fans who attended the Champions League final in Paris last year in an unprecedented move that is likely to cost millions and which is a further acknowledgement of how far UEFA got the organisation of the show-piece event wrong.
An independent report commissioned by UEFA concluded that only the calmness of Liverpool fans prevented a ‘mass fatality catastrophe’ after UEFA were found to have sidelined safety and security, that French police behaved incompetently by firing tear gas into the crowd and that French Interior Minister Gerard Darmanin inflated the numbers of ticketless fans ‘as an excuse to mask other failures’.
UEFA have already apologised and promised to implement recommendations in the report but this is the most substantive act of contrition and will cost Europe’s governing body millions of pounds.
A statement from the governing body read: ‘We have taken into account a huge number of views expressed both publicly and privately and we believe we have devised a scheme that is comprehensive and fair.
‘We value the input from the Liverpool FC supporter organisations Spirit of Shankly (SoS) and Liverpool Disabled Supporters Association (LDSA) as well as the open and transparent dialogue throughout this period.
There were scenes of chaos as Liverpool fans struggled to get into the final in Paris last year
Liverpool fans were cleared of wrongdoing despite initially being held culpable by authorities
Liverpool fans protest against UEFA during their side’s match against Real Madrid last month
‘We recognise the negative experiences of those supporters on the day and with this scheme we will refund fans who had bought tickets and who were the most affected by the difficulties in accessing the stadium.’
SPORTSMAIL’S AWARD WINNING COVERAGE HELPED CLEAR REDS SUPPORTERS IN PARIS
Rob Draper’s real-time reporting of the chaos around last year’s Champions League final in Paris saw him pick up the Social Media award at the British Sports Journalism Awards, making it a double after he also picked up Football News Reporter of the Year too.
Many Liverpool fans are already suing UEFA in group actions and hundreds of fans with genuine tickets were refused admission either because of the chaos or because they were accused of having fake tickets because stewards were untrained and the scanning devices were faulty.
Top price tickets were €690 or £610 and cheapest were €70 or £62 meaning UEFA’s bill for the 19,618 tickets issued to Liverpool fans is likely to cost around £3million.
In a sign that UEFA appears to be shifting its stance, it has also paid tribute to Football Supporters Europe, than pan-European fans’ campaigning organisation and to Liverpool fans’ groups Spirit of Shankly and the Liverpool Disabled Supporters Association, both of whom campaigned on behalf of supporters caught up in the chaos.
In a statement those fans’ groups said: ‘Spirit of Shankly and the Liverpool Disabled Supporters Association welcome today’s announcement from UEFA that they are to refund all Liverpool FC ticket holders who attended the Champions League final in Paris in May 22.
Supporters called on key UEFA officials to resign and accused French ministers of being liars
‘This unprecedented move is the result of tireless work, alongside FSE and Ian Byrne MP, to hold those responsible for the catastrophic events in Paris,.
‘With a promise to reimburse supporters, UEFA have gone some way to acknowledging their part in the fiasco.
‘But it does not excuse UEFA, exempt them from criticism or lessen the need for them to implement all of the recommendations made by the Independent Inquiry.
‘We will work alongside LFC and publish details once we know how and when refunds will be processed.’
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