An independent review into the events surrounding the Champions League final has been announced by UEFA.
European football’s governing body has appointed Dr Tiago Brandao Rodrigues to lead a ‘comprehensive’ report into the problems Liverpool fans faced in Paris on Saturday.
Thousands of Liverpool fans were stuck outside the stadium and sprayed with tear gas and pepper spray as they tried to enter the Stade de France ahead of the match against Real Madrid.
The review will examine the decision-making, responsibility and behaviors of all entities involved in the final, UEFA said.
Earlier, the French interior minister blamed “fraud on an industrial scale” for the chaos – and said thousands of fake tickets had caused the mayhem.
The final, which was originally meant to be played in St Petersburg but was moved to Paris after the invasion of Ukraine, was overshadowed after thousands of Liverpool fans had difficulty getting into the stadium.
Kick-off was delayed by over 30 minutes with Liverpool fans seen waiting in huge queues, with many supporters stuck outside for hours and others not allowed in until half-time.
British police, UK government ministers and Liverpool FC said an “aggressive approach” was used against fans at the Liverpool side.
Former Liverpool player and manager Sir Kenny Daglish told Sky News earlier that the French authorities should be “embarrassed” by the way they behaved, which left-back Andy Robertson said a club-issued ticket to the Champions League final was dismissed as “fake”.
Portugal’s education minister to spearhead the review
Earlier, Liverpool asked supporters who attended the match to complete a survey to support an investigation.
Both the club and Nadine Dorries had called on UEFA to launch an independent review into the chaos.
Announcing the view, UEFA said: “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.”
Dr Rodrigues is Portugal’s Minister of Education and was previously the country’s Olympic attache during the London Olympics in 2012.
‘Concerning’ police response
Shortly before the end of the game, in which Liverpool lost 1-0, UEFA released a statement blaming fake tickets purchased by Liverpool fans on the delay.
“In the lead-up to the game, the turnstiles at the Liverpool end became blocked by thousands of fans who had purchased fake tickets which did not work in the turnstiles.
“This created a build-up of fans trying to get in. As a result, the kick-off was delayed by 35 minutes to allow as many fans as possible with genuine tickets to gain access.
“As numbers outside the stadium continued to build up after kick-off, the police dispersed them with tear gas and forced them away from the stadium.”
Cabinet minister Brandon Lewis earlier told Sky News’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday program it appeared that an “aggressive approach” had been used against Liverpool fans by French police and it was “concerning”.
What actually happened at the Stade de France?
French police were heavy-handed with absolutely zero tolerance
Ian Byrne, the Labor MP for Liverpool West Derby, was at the match in Paris and said he had never witnessed such scenes since the 1989 Hillsborough disaster that left 97 Liverpool fans dead after a crush developed at Sheffield’s Hillsborough stadium.
He told Sky News’ Kay Burley he was seeing a similar “narrative of lies” beginning to build after French police and UEFA, European football’s governing body, blamed Liverpool fans.
“I think we’ve got to make sure that the scenes that we experienced on Saturday are never ever replicated again at any sporting occasion,” he added.