UEFA have offered a ‘sincere apology’ to all of the supporters impacted by the ‘frightening and distressing events’ at the Champions League final in Paris.
The showpiece event between Liverpool and Real Madrid was marred by events before kick-off as supporters were detained, robbed and attacked by police using pepper spray and tear gas.
While Jurgen Klopp’s side lost the match to a 1-0 scoreline, it was those scarring events that will be the legacy of the biggest match in European football.
UEFA’s statement on the night of the final also left a sour taste in the mouths of supporters, with a message appearing on the big screen at the Stade De France blaming the late arrival for fans for the delays in entering the stadium.
However, with more time to digest the events of the evening, UEFA have confirmed that they’ll be conducting an independent review into what transpired in the French capital.
UEFA’s official statement 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 28 May 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 Brandão 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.
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“The Review will seek to establish a full picture and timeline of what occurred during the day, both within the stadium and the surrounding areas, including examining spectator flows to the stadium via the various access points.
“It will also examine all relevant operational plans related to security, mobility, ticketing, as well as others at the discretion of the chairman of the Review, and will examine 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.
“The Independent Review aims to identify any issues or gaps in the implementation and running of operations and assess the roles and responsibilities of all the entities involved and the adequacy of their response to events, in order to make recommendations on best practices for the future for UEFA and the relevant stakeholders.
“The Review will engage with UEFA and all relevant stakeholders, including, but not limited to, fan groups including Football Supporters Europe as well as those of the two finalist clubs; the finalist clubs themselves; general spectators; the French Football Federation; the Police and other public national and local authorities, and the stadium operator.
“Further information on how relevant parties can submit their testimonies (via a dedicated email address or an online questionnaire) will be communicated shortly.
“The findings of the Review, conclusions, and recommendations will be set out in detail in the Report and will be those of Dr. Tiago Brandão Rodrigues and the experts who will support him. The Review will start immediately and should be concluded within the shortest possible time-frame needed to produce a comprehensive review of the events.
“Once completed, the Report will be published by UEFA on www.uefa.com in the interests of transparency.”