The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) has announced the commissioning of an independent report on “decision-making, responsibility, and behaviours of all entities involved” at key Paris 2024 venue the Stade de France in the build-up to the UEFA Champions League final last Saturday (28 May).
French police clashed with Liverpool Football Club fans outside the stadium, which is set to hold athletics and rugby sevens at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
Production of the report will be led by Tiago Brandão Rodrigues from Portugal, a member of the Portuguese Parliament and President of the Parliamentary Committee of Environment and Energy.
Evidence from all parties
Previously, he was the nation’s Minister of Education, Youth, and Sports from 2015 until earlier this year and a member of the World Anti-Doping Agency Foundation Board.
“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, the UEFA will evaluate the next steps,” read the statement.
Liverpool supporters were pepper-sprayed by French police, and their supporters with tickets were left in massive queues, leading to the match with Spanish side Real Madrid to be delayed by 35 minutes.
Ministers in the French Government admitted there were “issues” with crowd management at the stadium but said fraudulent groups were the “root cause”, Michael Houston reported to Inside the Games on Monday (30 May).
French Minister of Sport Amélie Oudéa-Castéra had blamed the police violence after the UEFA Champions League final at the Stade de France on organised fraud, claiming approximately 30,000 to 40,000 people who came to Paris either had no tickets or fake tickets.
She added that 2,500 tickets were falsely sold to fans.
Real Madrid went on to win their 14th European Cup, defeating the English club 1-0 thanks to a strike by Brazilian Vinicius Junior.
“There were no seriously injured people, no victims, and they dispersed calmly” said Oudéa-Castéra at a press conference.
“There was no violence between supporters. This statement of the UEFA of 2,500 tickets weren’t real tickets. Some fans bought a ticket and were deprived of a match and we’d like to say how sorry we are to all those people.
“The UEFA said those people should be identified and compensated to try and overcome their frustration. We are going to try to really understand what happened with this massive fraud as far as the ticketing concerns,” Oudéa-Castéra had added.
Disabled fans affected too
“There are figures of 30,000 to 40,000 people without tickets or with fake tickets,” she also said.
Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said that “massive, industrial-scale” ticket fraud saw Liverpool fans turn up at the stadium, which led to 30 people being arrested at the stadium who were mostly British citizens.
The UEFA initially said fans had turned up late to the stadium, but Merseyside Police said the majority of Liverpool fans arrived early and behaved in an “exemplary manner”.
Disabled fans reported that they were among those pepper-sprayed.