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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Champions League – chaos at final: investigation report fully blames the police

An independent investigation blames the French police for the chaos surrounding the Champions League final last May. According to the report, which was chaired by Professor Phil Scraton, who also led the investigation into the Hillsborough disaster in 1989, “criminal attacks” had taken place.

“Continued, indiscriminate police attacks on fans and the unprovoked use of tear gas against men, women and children trapped in confined spaces have been indiscriminate and dangerous,” it said.

The kick-off of the final between Real Madrid and Liverpool (1-0) on May 29 at the Stade de France in St. Denis was delayed by more than half an hour because many fans had difficulty getting to their seats. Some were pushed back by French police with tear gas, more than 230 people were injured.

An investigation by the French Senate in July blamed a lack of preparation on the part of the French authorities and the organiser, the continental federation UEFA, and poorly implemented security measures.

For many Liverpool fans, the scenes would have brought back memories of the mass rush in Hillsborough, in which 97 fans were killed, according to the current British investigation. This led to collective action by Liverpool fans preventing a tragedy in the French capital – no one died.

“The continued failure to manage crowds has seriously impacted the health and well-being of fans. It is clear from testimonies from fans that they have been frustrated by aggressive policing, ineffective security measures and the failure to implement comprehensive stadium security plans based on of implementing risk management principles were at risk,” says the investigation.

UEFA’s independent report on the final’s organizational flaws is due to be published in November.

Paris is hosting the 2024 Summer Olympics. After the incidents at the Champions League final, the security concept for the major event was put to the test.


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