Champions League final: spectator chaos in Paris: report reveals blatant errors

In addition to the Paris police, the European football association UEFA is also responsible for the spectator chaos surrounding the Champions League final in May.

Champions League final: spectator chaos in Paris: report reveals blatant errors

In addition to the Paris police, the European football association UEFA is also responsible for the spectator chaos surrounding the Champions League final in May. That's the conclusion of an independent investigative report led by Phil Scraton.

"Our comprehensive analysis of fans' experiences before, during and after the Champions League final is an indictment of all the authorities involved: UEFA, the Paris police, local and central authorities and the stadium owners," the report said entitled "Treated with contempt". Scraton also oversaw the 1989 Hillsborough disaster. The report, which involved five experts, is based on testimonies from 485 women, men and children, as well as eyewitness reports from international journalists.

Human lives were endangered

Accordingly, UEFA "completely" failed in fulfilling its responsibility. The police officers' continued and indiscriminate attacks, as well as the indiscriminate, reckless and unprovoked use of tear gas against "men, women and children who were trapped in a confined space, have been inconsiderate and dangerous," it said. Human lives were endangered by a collective operational failure.

In addition, there were "criminal attacks" by local gangs, who also stole from numerous fans. The report also concludes that there was insufficient pre-match preparation by UEFA and Paris agencies, as well as inadequate spectator safety precautions. Only because of the calm behavior of the fans would there have been no deaths, but thousands, including children, are now traumatized.

During Real Madrid's 1-0 win over Liverpool on May 28, there was chaos in the Stade de France. The kick-off was delayed by more than half an hour because many fans didn't come to the stadium despite tickets. The police used tear gas, more than 230 people were injured.

An investigation by the French Senate in July also came up with a damning verdict. There was a chain of functional failures at all levels and omissions in preparation. The Paris police had already admitted their failure, the Paris police prefect Didier Lallement gave up his post. UEFA's independent report is due to be published in November. The European Football Association had explained the chaos by the high number of fans without valid tickets.

Memories of the Hillsborough Disaster

For many Liverpool fans, what happened in Paris would have brought back memories of the Hillsborough disaster when 97 fans died and more than 700 were injured in the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest on 15 April 1989. "For the fans who survived the 1989 Hillsborough disaster and everything that happened after, Paris was retraumatizing," said Deena Haydon, author of the current report.

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