UEFA said Tuesday it will reimburse all Liverpool supporters who attended last year’s chaos-hit Champions League final between the English club and Real Madrid at the Stade de France in Paris.
Heavily criticised in an independent report published last month for organisational failures which “almost led to disaster”, European football’s governing body said its refund scheme would cover the entire Liverpool allocation of nearly 20,000, as well as supporters of Real and other spectators affected by the trouble outside the stadium.
“Refunds will be available to all fans…where the most difficult circumstances were reported,” UEFA said, adding that all ticket-holders who did not enter the stadium by the originally scheduled kick-off time, or could not get in at all, would also receive a refund.
“Given these criteria, the special refund scheme covers all of the Liverpool FC ticket allocation for the final, i.e. 19,618 tickets.”
Real’s 1-0 win at France’s national stadium on May 28 was overshadowed by events outside, with the kick-off delayed by 37 minutes as fans struggled to access the stadium after police funnelled them into overcrowded bottlenecks as they approached.
Police then fired tear gas toward thousands of supporters locked behind metal fences on the perimeter of the stadium.
UEFA tried to pin the blame on Liverpool fans arriving late despite thousands having been held for hours outside the stadium before kick-off.
The independent report said that “UEFA, as event owner, bears primary responsibility for failures which almost led to disaster.”