LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND - Wednesday, January 24, 2018: UEFA President Aleksander ?eferin during the draw for the new UEFA Nations League tournament at the SwissTech Convention Centre. (Pic by Pool/UEFA/Propaganda)

UEFA and French FA took measures to redact evidence from Paris review

It has emerged that both UEFA and the French FA forced the redaction of “important evidence” within the independent review of the Paris chaos.

While responsibility has finally been accepted, the fallout of an inquest into the events of the 2022 Champions League final has only led to further controversy.

The extent of failings from UEFA and the French authorities has led to concern throughout football, with Liverpool urging the governing body to “do the right thing” and follow the panel’s 21 recommendations for safety processes.

Though the report, published on Monday night, saw UEFA deemed “primarily responsible” for the scenes around the Stade de France, section 2.14 reveals they took measures to redact evidence.

UEFA were asked to provide statements and witness interviews to ensure “as much transparency as is possible,” but objections were raised “late in the process.”

“It was intended that all evidence should be published alongside the final report subject to three narrow areas of exception,” the report reads.

Those exceptions were:

  • Irrelevant personal details
  • Sensitive material (for example, relating to counter terror measures)
  • Commercially sensitive details (such as the value of contracts)

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.

The inquest report reads: “Late in the process, two key stakeholders raised objections to publication of some evidence.

“Initially UEFA agreed, in writing, to the process set out by the independent Panel, including the publication of all evidence as above.

“In a subsequent recorded discussion concerning the process, the General Secretary confirmed this agreement, but asked that junior staff be anonymised. The Panel agreed.

“In December 2022, UEFA indicated that they were unhappy with publication of any of their witness interview transcripts, but reached a compromise with the Panel that the transcripts would be published subject to anonymisation of all their staff including senior management (despite the fact that they would be named in the report itself).

“Subsequently, UEFA has used this anonymisation to justify redaction of questions and answers regarding the evidence given to the French Senate by a senior executive.

PARIS, FRANCE - Saturday, May 28, 2022: French riot police with tear gas guns inside the stadium during the UEFA Champions League Final game between Liverpool FC and Real Madrid CF at the Stade de France. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“The Panel is very disappointed that UEFA has taken this approach, in order to redact obviously important evidence.”

It is added that the French Football Federation (FFF) “made similar objections.”

“As a result, the transcripts relating to FFF are anonymised, and significant redactions have been required, which go far beyond the narrow exceptions referred to above,” it is explained.

“The Panel is similarly disappointed at the approach taken by FFF.”