UEFA to refund Liverpool fans who attended chaotic Paris Champions League final
UEFA will refund Liverpool fans who bought tickets to last season’s Champions League final, which resulted in crowds outside the Stade de France and innocent supporters being pepper-sprayed and tear-gassed.
European football’s governing body said on Tuesday it had drawn up a plan to repay all 19,618 tickets purchased by Liverpool fans for their match against Real Madrid last May. The Spanish club won 1-0.
An independent review published last month found that UEFA was largely responsible for the safety failure that “nearly led to disaster”.
“Remarkably, no lives were lost,” the investigative team wrote in a 220-page document.
Refunds will also be paid to Real Madrid supporters and neutral fans who meet certain criteria set by UEFA.
UEFA general secretary Theodore Theodoridis said: “We have considered a large number of views expressed both publicly and privately, and we believe we have developed a comprehensive and fair plan.” “We recognize that those supporters negative experience that day, and through this program we will be refunding tickets that have been purchased and those fans who were most impacted by the difficulties entering the stadium.”
On May 28, at the 75,000-capacity Stade de France, a key venue for the 2024 Paris Olympics, thousands of fans lined up in increasingly crowded queues hours before the game.
Many fans were tear-gassed by police before the match, which was delayed by nearly 40 minutes.
UEFA statements during the chaos and after the game falsely accused Liverpool fans of arriving late and using fake tickets to try to enter the stadium.
After Madrid won the championship, dozens of fans were snatched from the stadium by local residents.
Theodoridis apologized to Liverpool supporters last month for “the experience of many of them” and the unfair accusations made.
Fans group Football Supporters Europe applauded the decision to issue refunds.
FSE board member Kevin Myers said: “UEFA’s announcement of refunds is unprecedented and very welcome, and builds specifically on their earlier apology to Liverpool fans. Fans of the team will know that while it may have been Liverpool fans who suffered last year, these incidents or something like it could happen to any of us.”