On May 26th, 2019 thousands of fans gathered in Stade de France to watch the Champions League Final between Liverpool and Real Madrid. Unfortunately, a series of safety issues and chaotic scenes ensued, with supporters being attacked by locals and tear-gassed by police. In response, Uefa commissioned an independent report to investigate the matter and lay blame on Uefa and the French authorities. The report concluded that Uefa bore ‘primary responsibility for failures’ which almost led to the showpiece final becoming a ‘mass fatality catastrophe’.
Liverpool have implored Uefa to fully implement all the recommendations made in the report. In a statement, Liverpool called on Uefa and other stakeholders to take positive and transparent action to ensure there are no more “near misses”. They also called on Uefa to do “the right thing” and implement the 21 recommendations to ensure the safety of all football supporters attending any future Uefa match.
Professor Clifford Scott, co-author of the report, said pressure had to be put on Uefa to effect the necessary changes. ‘There have been ample reports before making a whole series of recommendations which have not been followed,’ he said. ‘The conversation we need to have, is how can we pull stakeholders together, including fans, to drive this situation towards one where Uefa is forced to implement the core recommendations of this report.’
It is essential that Uefa takes responsibility for their part in the chaos at the Champions League Final and implements all recommendations for future matches. This is necessary for the safety and well-being of all football supporters attending European matches.