The European soccer governing body commissioned a team led by Portuguese Dr. Tiago Brandao Rodrigues to investigate the problems of dangerous congestion, attacks on fans by locals and police tear gas and the general operation in the Stade de France in May and lays the blame at the feet of UEFA and the French authorities.
The report claimed that European soccer’s governing body bore “primary responsibility for the failures” that nearly led to the final against Real Madrid becoming a “mass death catastrophe”.
A statement from Liverpool read: “Last night, UEFA published the Independent Panel Report on the failures we saw first-hand in Paris and it is within this context that we call on UEFA and others at the top of the regulatory pyramid. of football to unite and take positive and transparent steps to ensure that there are no more ‘near misses’.
“We call on UEFA to fully implement the recommendations as outlined by the panel, no matter how difficult, to ensure that fan safety is the number one priority at the heart of every UEFA football match.
“We were determined to ensure that a robust investigation was carried out so that lessons were learned to ensure that the safety of football fans in Europe is never compromised again.
“As a football club with a proud history in Europe, we call on UEFA to do the right thing and implement the 21 recommendations to ensure the safety of all football fans attending any future UEFA football match.” .
Professor Clifford Stott, a co-author of the report, said UEFA must now be pressured to make the necessary changes.
“Everyone would be naive to assume that the change will simply emerge from this report,” Stott, a professor of social psychology at Keele University who has been involved as a UEFA policy adviser since 2004, told Sky Sports News.
“There have been numerous reports before, we have seen reports from 2005, 2006, 2016, that make a whole series of recommendations about security methods that should (be) implemented in the Paris stadium and that have not been followed.
“We must have the doubt… and that the same thing happens again.
“The momentum we now need to build, the conversation we need to have, is how we can bring stakeholders together, including fans, to bring this situation to one where UEFA is forced to implement the core recommendations of this report. ”.
Liverpool chief executive Billy Hogan said that was exactly what the club planned to do.
“This is not the end of the process. This is where the hard work really needs to start now,” he told the club’s website.
“The two things we asked for were number one: an independent report so we could understand exactly what happened, and number two: make sure this never happens again; that’s the part we need to move to now to make sure this never happens again.
“It deals with all the matches that take place and the behavior of the police, the operational delivery of these events has to be looked at on a case-by-case basis to ensure that the safety and security of the fans, the safety of the fans, is at the center of attention. all. all the operational planning that is carried out.
“It can’t just be a focus on finals, it has to be a focus on every game we run across Europe and that’s really UEFA’s role and responsibility to deliver on that.
“So, from our perspective, we want to see now that UEFA take these 21 recommendations and put them into practice.”
The report also fully exonerated the fans initially blamed by UEFA for arriving late to the pitch and causing the kick-off to be delayed by more than half an hour.
French authorities also erroneously claimed that the problems were caused by thousands of unticketed or counterfeit fans trying to gain access.
“Immediately after that night in Paris, shocking false accounts spread; narratives that have since been fully refuted,” the Liverpool statement said.
“Independent French Senate report published in July 2022 found that Liverpool supporters were unfairly and wrongly blamed for the chaotic scenes in order to divert attention from the real organizational failures.”
Many fans who attended the Stade de France were survivors, or relatives of victims, of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster in which 97 people died, and for them in particular the events of that night were particularly traumatic.
“It is shocking that more than 30 years after the Hillsborough disaster, any club and our group of fans are subject to such fundamental security breaches that have had such a devastating impact on so many,” the Liverpool statement added.
“But even more troubling is the realization that for Hillsborough families, friends and survivors, Paris has only exacerbated their suffering.”