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UEFA announces plan to refund Liverpool fans caught up in final chaos

European football’s governing body say they will begin refunding Liverpool fans who were caught up in the chaotic and unsafe scenes outside the Stade de France before the Champions League final last May.

In February a report into the organisational problems before the Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid found that UEFA bore primary responsibility for substandard stewarding, crowd congestion and turnstile failures before the game.

That report found that serious safety failures came close to causing a disaster in which people could have been killed – and now UEFA plans to refund supporters impacted by those events.

UEFA general secretary Theodore Theodoridis said: “We have taken into account a huge number of views expressed both publicly and privately and we believe we have devised a scheme that is comprehensive and fair.

“We value the input from the Liverpool FC supporter organisations Spirit of Shankly (SoS) and Liverpool Disabled Supporters Association (LDSA) as well as the open and transparent dialogue throughout this period. We recognise the negative experiences of those supporters on the day and with this scheme we will refund fans who had bought tickets and who were the most affected by the difficulties in accessing the stadium.”

UEFA will be working with Liverpool to administer ticket refunds to those supporters who bought tickets directly as part of the Reds’ allocation. Refunds will be available to all fans with tickets for gates A, B, C, X, Y and Z where the most serious issues were reported.

Supporters at these gates witnessed the worst of the overcrowding and thousands missed the original 9pm kick-off time as a result. UEFA also says all fans who purchased accessibility tickets will be refunded along with those of their aides.

FSA chief executive Kevin Miles said: “UEFA’s announcement of the ticket refunds is both unprecedented and hugely welcome, and builds concretely on the apology they extended to Liverpool fans earlier.

“Both Spirit of Shankly and the Liverpool Disabled Supporters’ Association deserve enormous credit for the way that they have pressed the case of Liverpool fans affected by the events in Paris.

“Every football fan who has travelled to support a team abroad will know that, while it may have been Liverpool fans who suffered last year, these events or something similar could have happened to any of us. What these groups have achieved, supported by the FSA and Football Supporters Europe, represents a significant achievement for football fans everywhere.”

Additionally, Real Madrid fans who experienced problems will be offered refunds, UEFA say, and a special portal for supporters to report crimes in Saint Denis has also been established in conjunction with the French authorities.

Liverpool fan response

Liverpool’s supporter union Spirit of Shankly and LDSA said: “Spirit of Shankly and the Liverpool Disabled Supporters Association welcome today’s announcement from UEFA that they are to refund all Liverpool FC ticket holders who attended the Champions League final in Paris in May ’22.

“This unprecedented move is the result of tireless work, alongside Football Supporters Europe and Ian Byrne MP, to hold those responsible to account for the catastrophic events in Paris.

“With a promise to reimburse supporters, UEFA have gone some way to acknowledging their part in the fiasco.

“But it does not excuse UEFA, exempt them from criticism or lessen the need for them to implement all of the recommendations made by the Independent Inquiry.

“We will work alongside LFC and publish details once we know how and when refunds will be processed.”

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