Liverpool MP calls for Champions League final swabs to be withdrawn

Labor MP Ian Byrne has urged UEFA to follow up its apology for the chaotic scenes at the Champions League final with a “backtracking” against Liverpool fans.

The governing body apologized for access problems that resulted in fans being crushed and tear gassed outside the Stade de France in Paris ahead of Real Madrid’s 1-0 win over Liverpool.

This comes after UEFA initially blamed the problems on fans’ late arrivals, before later issuing a statement citing fake tickets as the cause.

Byrne, who is a Liverpool West Derby MP and attended the game, wants UEFA to go further.

“It was the worst event I’ve seen at a football game at Hillsborough since 1989 and it could have been as serious as Hillsborough was with the lives lost,” he said on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

“It was only the patience of the Liverpool fans that prevented that from happening because we got absolutely nothing from the authorities.

“But we must continue to demand a full public apology and retraction of the slander made about the Liverpool fans in relation to the late kick-off and everything else that happened.”

UEFA issued a “sincere apology” to all fans affected by Friday’s chaotic events, having previously launched an independent review

A statement said: “UEFA would like to sincerely apologize to all viewers who witnessed the frightening and harrowing events leading up to the UEFA Champions League final at the Stade de France on April 28, which should have been a celebration of European club football. No football fan should be in this situation and it must not happen again.

“To this end, UEFA commissioned an independent review immediately after the events to identify deficiencies and responsibilities of all entities involved in the organization of the final and today published the terms of reference for that review.

“The independent review conducted by Dr. Tiago Brandao Rodrigues of Portugal aims to understand what happened leading up to the final and what lessons should be learned to ensure the actions and events of that day are not repeated.

“The review will attempt to provide a complete picture and timeline of what happened during the day, both within the stadium and in the surrounding areas, including examining the flow of spectators to the stadium through the various access points.”

UEFA said it will also review “all relevant operational plans in terms of security, mobility, ticketing and others” as well as “the planning and preparation of the facilities involved for hosting the final, including at additional venues such as Liverpool fan hangouts FC.” and Real Madrid CF”.

UEFA added: “The review will work with UEFA and all relevant stakeholders including but not limited to fan groups such as Football Supporters Europe and those of the two finalist clubs; the finalist clubs themselves; general viewers; the French Football Federation; the police and other public national and local authorities as well as the stadium operator.”

UEFA confirmed it will set up an online questionnaire to allow all “relevant parties to submit their statements” via a dedicated email address, to be announced.

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