UEFA 'sincerely apologises' to fans over violence at Champions League final

3 June 2022, 18:11 | Updated: 3 June 2022, 18:38

Police used tear gas on fans
Police used tear gas on fans. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

UEFA has 'sincerely apologised' to fans after violent scenes at Liverpool's Champions League final match in Paris.

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They also set out the terms of reference for a previously announced independent review following the incident.

A statement read: "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."

It went on to explain the review saying: "[It] 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."

Read more: Jamie Carragher blasts 'cover-up' in wake of chaos at Champions League final

Read more: French police back Liverpool fans and call for minister to go after Champions League chaos

It comes after France's interior minister, Gerald Darmanin, said sorry for "disproportionate" use of tear gas on Liverpool fans at the game.

Chaos erupted around the stadium in Paris last week as fans spent hours waiting to get in, forcing kick-off in the clash between Liverpool and eventual champions Real Madrid to be pushed back.

French officials initially blamed English travelling fans "with no tickets or fake tickets".

"Clearly things could have been organised better. It is evident that this celebration of sport was ruined and we very much regret the troubles which were sometimes unacceptable," Mr Darmanin said.

He added: "I am very sincerely sorry for that disproportionate use and sanctions will be taken."

Shambolic scenes unfolded outside the stadium as fans with tickets were made to wait in huge queues before French police used tear gas and violent clashes broke out.

A total of 174 people were injured and 68 were arrested as police officers with batons and riot shields were deployed on Saturday evening.

Children and disabled fans were among those who were pepper sprayed and had CS gas fired at them.

The policing of the match has been slammed by football fans, politicians and authorities in the UK.

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