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Liverpool provides fans’ Champions League final testimonials to independent panel

Featured image credit: Guilhem Vellut/CC BY 2.0/Edited for size

Premier League football club Liverpool has handed over supporter testimonials, photographs and video files to the independent panel investigating the events surrounding its UEFA Champions League final against Real Madrid at the Stade de France in Paris back in May.

Kick-off for the match, which Real Madrid won 1-0, was delayed by more than half an hour as thousands of fans remained outside of the stadium. Some fans queued outside for more than two hours, while videos circulated on social media showed police using pepper spray and tear gas as supporters tried to scan their tickets at the stadium turnstiles.

In the days following the match, UEFA commissioned an independent review, which is being produced by Dr. Tiago Brandão Rodrigues of Portugal.

Liverpool chief executive Billy Hogan revealed yesterday (Thursday) that Rodrigues has requested information regarding the club’s involvement in the ticketing process, travel arrangements for supporters, and the arrangements around the fan zone.

Immediately following the events in Paris, Liverpool called for an independent investigation into the issues leading up to the final. The club also called for supporters who attended the game to share their experiences.

More than 9,000 supporters shared their experiences, with more than 8,500 giving the club permission to use their testimonials as part of an investigation.

Eight themes were identified from the testimonials, including congestion at access points, insufficient supporter travel information, significant issues at the outer ticket cordon check areas and inner turnstiles, and excessive riot policing tactics.

Other issues cited were a lack of communication to supporters outside the stadium, the emotional impact of the incorrect reason for the delayed kick-off time, issues getting in and out of the stadium, and issues exiting the fan park.

“The purpose of providing an executive summary and the testimonials themselves is to help the independent panel understand that human beings were caught up in the chaos on May 28 and the experience of that day and night will live with them forever,” said Hogan.

“We want the independent panel to understand that behind the report and analysis there are real stories of real people who were subjected to some appalling and totally avoidable experiences.”