2JA8DT3 Police watch the crowd during the UEFA Champions League Final at the Stade de France, Paris. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2022.

Liverpool FC call for UEFA to “do the right thing” after Paris report findings

Following the publication of an independent review deeming UEFA responsible for the events in Paris last May, Liverpool have called for change.

Leaked hours before kickoff in the Merseyside derby on Monday night and later published by UEFA, the independent review into safety issues surrounding the 2022 Champions League final condemned the governing body.

UEFA were blamed for the events that unfolded at the Stade de France on May 29, with the French police also criticised for their role in what was a “near miss.”

“It is remarkable that no one lost their life,” the inquiry concluded.

Liverpool released an immediate statement on Monday evening having been left “hugely disappointed” at the timing of the leak, and the club has now released a full response.

The new statement explains how the report “fully vindicates Liverpool fans” and calls for UEFA to “fully and transparently implement the 21 critical recommendations to ensure safe passage for all football supporters at every UEFA match.”

Liverpool fans stuck outside the ground show their match tickets during the UEFA Champions League Final at the Stade de France, Paris. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2022.

Those recommendations include closer cooperation with local authorities during safety and security plans for events and stronger communication with fans in attendance.

Liverpool’s statement reads:

“Last night UEFA published the Independent Panel Report into the failings that we saw first-hand in Paris and it is within this context that we call on UEFA and others at the top of the football regulation pyramid to come together and take positive and transparent action to ensure there are no more ‘near misses’.

“We implore UEFA to fully enact the recommendations as outlined by the Panel – no matter how difficult – to ensure supporter safety is the number one priority at the heart of every UEFA football fixture.

“On the evening of the Champions League final at the Stade de France, even before the delayed kick-off was announced, we called on officials at the top of UEFA to delay kick-off and take control of the chaos that had developed outside the stadium.

“We also called on UEFA to launch a full independent and transparent investigation, in order to establish the facts.

“We knew that it was critical to understand why both Liverpool and Real Madrid supporters found ourselves in the situation where supporters’ safety was put at risk.

“We were determined to make sure a robust investigation was conducted in order that lessons are learned to ensure the safety of football supporters in Europe is never compromised again.

“Shocking false narratives were peddled in the immediate aftermath of that night in Paris; narratives that have since been totally disproven.

“The independent French Senate report published in July 2022 found Liverpool supporters were unfairly and wrongly blamed for the chaotic scenes to divert attention from the real organisational failures.

“The Independent Senate report also published 15 recommendations for improvements. No action has been taken on these recommendations to date.

“A further independent, 160-page report, using almost 500 eye-witness testimonies and authored by the highly respected critical criminologist, academic and author Professor Phil Scraton, concluded that UEFA had achieved abject failure in trying to meet its responsibilities.

“It is shocking that more than 30 years after the Hillsborough disaster any club and our group of fans would be subject to such fundamental safety failings which have had such a devastating impact on so many.

“But even more concerning is the realisation that for families, friends and survivors of Hillsborough, Paris has only exacerbated their suffering.

“Our thoughts go out to all our fans who have suffered as a result of Paris and we would remind them of the mental health support we put in place in the days following the disaster that was the UEFA Champions League final in Paris.

“As a football club with proud history in Europe, we call on UEFA to do the right thing and implement the 21 recommendations to ensure the safety of all football supporters attending any future UEFA football match.”