UEFA apologises for chaos during build-up of the Champions League final

(Football news) European football governing body UEFA has apologised to fans for the events that took place ahead of the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool in Paris. They announced that an independent review will be launched to assess why fans, including women and children were tear gassed and crushed outside Stade de France, resulting in the match being delayed by 30 minutes. 

In a statement released by UEFA, they said “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 May 28, 2022 in Paris, on a night which should have been a celebration of European club football. No football fan should be put in that situation, and it must not happen again. 

“To that end, immediately after the events, UEFA commissioned an Independent Review to identify shortcomings and responsibilities of all entities involved in the organisation of the final, and has today published the Terms of Reference for this review. The Independent Review, which will be led by Dr Tiago Brandao Rodrigues from Portugal, aims at understanding what happened in the build-up to the final, and determining what lessons should be learned to ensure there is no repeat of the actions and events of that day." 

Fourteen times Champions League winners Real Madrid issued a statement of their own, calling on authorities to explain why supporters were left "helpless and defenceless". The club have also demanded to know why the venue was chosen to host the Champions League final and have said that "many of the fans were violently assaulted, harassed and robbed" and "some of them even had to spend the night in hospital". 

Premier League’s chief executive Billy Hogan publicly said that he was “horrified” after hearing accounts from fans after receiving more than 6,000 pieces of feedback about issues surrounding last week's game. Hogan said “They had major concerns with the matchday operation, including the policing operation around the match. I know they're equally concerned about making sure this, again, is an independent and open investigation." 

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