UEFA ‘sincerely’ apologises for Champions League final chaos

UEFA has “sincerely” apologised to all fans affected by the chaotic events at last Saturday’s Champions League final.

European football’s governing body announced on Tuesday it had launched an independent review into the access issues that led to fans being crushed and tear-gassed outside Stade de France in Paris before Real Madrid’s 1-0 win against Liverpool.

It has now released a further statement apologising for the distress caused to supporters.

“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,” the statement read, “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.”

The body asked for an independent team of experts to look into who was responsible for the chaos, it said.

“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.”

UEFA will also examine “all relevant operational plans related to security, mobility, ticketing, as well as others”, plus “the planning and preparedness of the involved entities for the staging of the final, including at additional sites such as the Liverpool FC and Real Madrid CF fan meeting points”.

An online questionnaire will also be set up so that all “relevant parties can submit their testimonies” via a dedicated email address, which is yet to be announced.

UEFA initially blamed the problems on the late arrival of fans before later issuing a statement referring to fake tickets as the cause.

French government ministers reiterated the latter claims, alleging “fraud at an industrial level” leading to the fiasco that followed.

Although Liverpool fans were mainly affected, some Real Madrid supporters were caught up in the mayhem as well, leading the Spanish club to release a damning statement on Friday.

Real demanded answers after questioning the decision to hold the final at the Stade de France and their response came after Liverpool had swiftly called for a full investigation into the fiasco.

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