There’s not a lot more to be written about the whole UEFA blaming Liverpool fans, but captain Steven Gerrard has said it perfectly. His quotes are exactly right, and it is amazing how a player who could not have seen any of the scenes or had anybody carry out an undercover report on his behalf – yet UEFA have got it miserably wrong.
Here’s what the skipper said;
“It upsets me, because we’ve travelled everywhere together for the six or seven years I’ve been in the first team, and from what I’ve seen their behaviour has been fantastic.
“So it surprises me to hear that. I had friends and family at the final. They got caught up in bits and bobs, but nothing major. Their opinion was that the organisation wasn’t good enough.
“I’m sure when it all gets broken down they will conclude that the organisation wasn’t good enough, and maybe a minority of Liverpool fans have let themselves down. But as far as I’m concerned the European Cup final has got to be in a bigger stadium, with better organisation.”
That last sentence sums up the whole events – Im not sure if he prepared that quote but it is word perfect, thank you Stevie.
Earlier chief executive, Rick Parry, replied to the criticism by Uefa;
“The shortcomings in the management of the situation in Athens were apparent to anyone who was there,” he said. “These latest comments from Uefa should not deflect attention from that reality. To have a stadium with no counting system and no turnstiles is unforgivable for any standard of game, let alone a major final.
“What is most surprising about the latest comments from Mr Gaillard is that on the eve of the final he quite rightly commented that Liverpool supporters ‘have a tradition of good behaviour’.
“Let’s not forget that these same supporters who Mr Gaillard is claiming are now the worst in Europe were praised by Uefa president Michel Platini after our semi-final victory against Chelsea only last month, commended for their behaviour in Istanbul in 2005 and actually honoured by Uefa at a gala dinner in Monte Carlo in 2001 as joint Supporters of the Year with Alaves after the Uefa Cup final.”
Sports minister Richard Caborn, who meets with UEFA officials today, said;
“Rather than spend any more time apportioning blame and pointing fingers, we need to work out solutions,” Caborn said. “It was not just with Liverpool that there were problems last season in Europe – Manchester United also had problems in Rome and Lens.”