REVEALED: UEFA’s statement blaming Champions League final chaos on ‘late’ Liverpool fans ‘was prepared DAYS BEFORE the game’ as a standard explanation for a delay, as new light is shed on supporters’ nightmare in Paris
- The Champions League final in Paris descended into chaos due to outside events
- UEFA blamed the game being delayed on ‘late’ arriving Liverpool fans
- It’s been revealed UEFA’s statement blaming fans had already been prepared
- Fans had been stuck outside of the stadium in a dangerous, bottleneck queue
UEFA’s statement blaming ‘late’ arriving Liverpool fans for the delay to the Champions League final, was reportedly prepared days before the game even took place.
The final in Paris between the Reds and Real Madrid was tarnished by the events outside of the match, with European football’s showpiece event descending into chaos at the Stade de France.
UEFA produced a statement on the big screens inside France’s national stadium, announcing that a delay to the scheduled 9pm kick-off had been caused by the ‘late arrival of fans’.
The Guardian have now reported that this statement had been put together in the week up to the final on May 28.
It was a statement that incensed Liverpool supporters, thousands of whom were stuck outside the stadium, having arrived three or more hours before kick-off.
Around 15,000 supporters had been stuck in a dangerous, bottleneck queue at a perimeter checkpoint with some denied access into the stadium at turnstiles which had been closed by police and stewards.
At the end of the match Uefa made a second statement, blaming ‘thousands of fans’ at the Liverpool end with ‘fake tickets’ for the kick-off delay.
UEFA blamed the delay to the Champions League final on the ‘late’ arrival of Liverpool fans
The statement blaming fans though had been pre-prepared days before the final took place
Ian Byrne, a Liverpool MP and supporter who was at the match, as per the Guardian, said: ‘I find it truly shocking and horrifying to hear that Uefa – the confederation of Europe’s national football associations including the English FA – had a pre-prepared statement blaming supporters, as a standard explanation for a kick-off delay.
‘To do it to Liverpool supporters after everything we’ve been through is appalling. We need full answers as to how all these decisions were made.’
The Guardian also report that Liverpool supporters had been directed to a ticket checkpoint using an alternative route that had been a known hazard for the last six years.
It involved fans being directed through a narrow subway under the motorway, presenting a risk of crushing both there and at the turnstiles which had also been closed for long periods.
There had also been further distressing scenes outside the stadium, with fans tear gassed and beaten with truncheons, after they were accused of trying to break into the ground.
In fact, many of them were themselves attacked by local thugs, and police riot control officers.
Thousands of fans had been stuck in dangerous, bottleneck queues and some weren’t allowed access inside the stadium by the time they got to the turnstiles
Fans were also tear gassed in distressful scenes outside of the Stade de France on May 28
Afterwards, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin claimed that ’30 to 40,000 fake tickets’ were in circulation.
Mr Darmanin later apologised for the bad management of the showpiece event, but stopped short of extending the apology to Liverpool fans.
A later report, presented by inquiry co-chairmen François-Noël Buffet and Laurent Lafon, was severely critical of Mr Darmanin.
Mr Lafon said: ‘It’s unfair to have blamed Liverpool supporters for the disturbances, as the Interior Minister did has done to deflect attention from France’s inability to adequately manage the crowd.’
Initially the chaos was blamed on fake tickets before Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin later apologised for the bad management of Europe’s showpiece event
And Mr Buffet said: ‘Liverpool fans have been presented as the people who were mainly at fault for all these problems. That isn’t right.’
The report pointed to ‘ a chain of administrative errors’ from the authorities involved in the organisation of the match.
Mr Lafon said: ‘There was no real coordination between the different organisations and nobody had any foresight.’
Mr Buffet said ‘most of the delinquency took place around the stadium after the match. This should have been foreseen’.
He added: ‘The police were negligent on the petty crime around the stadium and the failed pre-filter check meant criminals were able to enter the stadium.’