UEFA have announced they intend to refund ALL Liverpool fans who attended the Champions League final fiasco in Paris last May.
Kick-off for the showpiece event was delayed as masses of fans were denied entry to the stadium despite possessing valid tickets. Fans were hemmed into dangerous bottlenecks on their way into the ground, with some even sprayed with tear gas by police as they waited for more than two hours to get inside.
An independent inquiry determined that UEFA bore “primary responsibility” for the safety failures which “almost led to disaster.” UEFA have since apologised to Liverpool fans and are now prepared to reimburse those who were affected.
A statement from UEFA read: “UEFA will implement a special refund scheme for fans who were most affected when accessing Stade de France on 28 May 2022.
“Refunds will be available to all fans with tickets for gates A, B, C, X, Y and Z where the most difficult circumstances were reported. In addition, all fans who according to the access control data did not enter the stadium before 21:00 CET (the originally scheduled kick-off time) or who were not able to enter the stadium at all, will be eligible for a refund.
“Finally, UEFA will offer refunds to all fans who purchased accessibility tickets along with those of their accompanying persons.”
Those criteria cover the whole of Liverpool’s allocation of 19,618 tickets. UEFA will pay the total refund back to Liverpool Football Club, to be passed onto the fans.
Some Real Madrid fans and neutral supporters will also be refunded, but will be done so via UEFA directly.
UEFA general secretary, Theodore Theodoridis, added: “We have taken into account a huge number of views expressed both publicly and privately and we believe we have devised a scheme that is comprehensive and fair.
“We value the input from the Liverpool FC supporter organisations Spirit of Shankly (SoS) and Liverpool Disabled Supporters Association (LDSA) as well as the open and transparent dialogue throughout this period.
“We recognise the negative experiences of those supporters on the day and with this scheme we will refund fans who had bought tickets and who were the most affected by the difficulties in accessing the stadium.”
UEFA had initially attempted to blame the fiasco on Liverpool fans with fake tickets. However, the independent inquiry insisted it was thanks to the actions of Liverpool fans that a disaster was averted and absolved them completely of any blame.
The report said: “The collective actions of Liverpool FC supporters were probably instrumental in protecting vulnerable people and averting what might well have been more serious injuries and deaths. It is remarkable that no one lost their life.”
The French Police have also been condemned for their conduct on the night. The authorities are said to have based their policing tactics for the occasion on the prospect of encountering hooliganism due to a false misconception of the events of the Hillsborough disaster.
A vast number of supporters complained about the heavy-handed approach by the police and many fans were attacked and robbed by local gangs outside the stadium.
UEFA’s latest statement advised any fans who were victims of crimes to report them to the French authorities.