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21st Sep 2022

UEFA reportedly pre-planned statement blaming fans for Champions League Final delays

Callum Boyle

The statement had been written the night before the final

The statement which appeared to blame Liverpool fans for the delay to the start of the Champions League Final in Paris was pre-planned before the day of the game.

A report from The Guardian revealed that the statement, which appeared on the boards inside the Stade de France announced that the kick-off time for Liverpool’s game against Real Madrid had been delayed due to the “late arrival of fans”.

Liverpool supporters were left infuriated by the statement after thousands were left stuck in chaotic queues despite arriving as early as three hours before kick-off.

Around 15,000 Reds fans were held in a dangerous queue near a ticket checkpoint before being denied access by the authorities. Police in Paris directed the fans to the checkpoint with an alternative route which had been identified as a hazard since 2016.

Those in Paris were also subjected to heavy-handed police tactics which included: being pepper sprayed, tear gassed and and were beaten by riot police.

Champions League Final

The statement which blamed fans arriving late had been decided in the planning stages while the second statement UEFA released directly blamed “thousands”of Liverpool fans with “fake tickets” for the delay.

Ian Byrne, a Liverpool MP and supporter, was at the game and condemned the governing body’s actions. He said: “I find it truly shocking and horrifying to hear that Uefa – the confederation of Europe’s national football associations including the English FA – had a pre-prepared statement blaming supporters, as a standard explanation for a kick-off delay.

“To do it to Liverpool supporters after everything we’ve been through is appalling. We need full answers as to how all these decisions were made.”

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