European governing body UEFA announced on Monday that an independent and comprehensive review will be conducted into the dangerous events outside the Stade de France.
Liverpool fans were sprayed with tear gas and pepper spray by police as they waited in huge queues ahead of the match against Real Madrid, with access issues leading to a kickoff delay sending 36 minutes.
UEFA initially blamed the late arrival of fans for the problems, which included some fans being crushed, before later issuing a statement referring to counterfeit tickets as the cause.
French government ministers reiterated the latest claims on Monday, alleging “industry-level fraud” leading to the ensuing fiasco.
This version of events has been disputed by numerous fans and other independent eyewitnesses, including numerous media outlets.
Liverpool chief executive Billy Hogan told the club’s website, www.liverpoolfc.com: “I would just say that we are incredibly surprised that someone in this position is commenting in the first place at this stage, so that we haven’t had enough time to figure out what happened, there hasn’t been an independent investigation to establish all the facts.
“We should know all the facts to make sure the scenes we have all seen – absolutely shameful – since Saturday never happen again.
“To make comments as deeply unnecessary as this, we just think everyone should focus on the proper investigation and less on the inflammatory comments that try to deflect responsibility for what happened on Saturday night.”
Representatives of local authorities, police and match organizers gathered on Monday to take stock of the events.
French interior minister Gerald Darmanin said at a press conference: “There has been massive fraud at the industrial level and organization of counterfeit tickets, 70% of the tickets were counterfeit tickets entering the Stade de France.
“The massive presence of counterfeit tickets was the problem which meant there were delays, three times the match was delayed.”
Sports Minister Amélie Oudéa-Castera said: “The main thing is to try to understand precisely what happened during this massive fraud.
“There are witnesses and the numbers support that – 30,000 to 40,000 people without tickets or with fake tickets and we’ve seen fake tickets.”
Hogan was also angered by UEFA’s early remarks regarding the late arrival of supporters.
He said, “To say that our fans didn’t arrive on time is nonsense.
“My club colleagues, our property and I have all seen it with our own eyes. We were off the ground, on the ground, in those crowds and from everything I saw, our fans arrived early and they were queuing as instructed by the authorities.
UEFA has confirmed that the review will be carried out by Dr Tiago Brandao Rodrigues, member of the Portuguese parliament and former member of the World Anti-Doping Agency Foundation Board.
He commissioned the report following calls from all parties and prominent politicians for a full investigation.
A statement read: “The comprehensive review will examine the decision-making, accountability and behaviors of all entities involved in the finale.
“Evidence will be collected from all parties involved and the findings of the independent report will be made public once completed and, upon receipt of the findings, UEFA will assess next steps.”
Liverpool have begun compiling their own evidence with supporters and other attendees invited to share their experiences via a feedback form on their website.
Liverpool: authorities ‘diverting responsibility’ in Champions League chaos
Source link Liverpool: authorities ‘diverting responsibility’ in Champions League chaos