UEFA commissions independent inquiry after Champions League final chaos
UEFA has commissioned an independent inquiry into the events which led to the delayed kickoff at the Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid in Paris, including supporters being sprayed with tear gas by riot police outside the Stade de France.
Senior French politicians said on Monday that between “30,000-40,000 fake tickets” were a central factor in the disorder outside the stadium, which led to thousands of Liverpool fans being held in large crowds while waiting to enter via the turnstiles.
UEFA also claimed on Saturday that the late arrival of supporters was another contributory factor to the delayed kickoff — an allegation rejected by Liverpool, who demanded an inquiry over the weekend.
Many supporters and others present at the game have contested the claims by the French authorities and UEFA, with the UK government backing Liverpool’s call for an inquiry.
And UEFA has now confirmed that Dr. Tiago Brandao Rodrigues, a Portuguese politician, will compile an independent report that will spell out what happened in Paris and why.
In a statement, UEFA said: “UEFA has today announced it has commissioned an independent report into the events surrounding the UEFA Champions League final in Paris on Saturday 28 May. The comprehensive review will examine decision making, responsibility and behaviours of all entities involved in the final.
“The report will be independently compiled and Dr. Tiago Brandão Rodrigues from Portugal will lead the production of this review.
“Dr. Tiago Brandão Rodrigues (born in Braga, Portugal in 1977) is a Member of the Portuguese Parliament and the President of the Parliamentary Committee of Environment and Energy. He was the Portuguese Minister of Education (also in charge of Sports and Youth) between 2015 and 2022, a member of the World Antidoping Agency Foundation Board (2019-2021) and was the Portuguese Olympic attaché during the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
“In order to guarantee his independent status in the process, Dr. Brandão Rodrigues agreed to execute this task on a pro bono basis.
“Evidence will be gathered from all relevant parties and the findings of the independent report will be made public once completed and upon receipt of the findings, UEFA will evaluate the next steps.”
Also on Monday, Liverpool CEO Billy Hogan responded to questions about the videos and images showing treatment of fans in Paris on gameday.
Hogan said on the club’s website: “Like everyone, I’ve been sent a number of them and I’ve also seen a number of them across social media. The videos and the photographs tell a consistent story: the unacceptable treatment of men, women and children which was, again, completely unacceptable.
“Also, to say our fans didn’t turn up on time is crazy. My colleagues across the club, our ownership and I, we all saw it with our own eyes; we were outside the ground, on the ground, in those crowds and from everything I saw, our fans arrived early and they were queuing as directed by authorities.