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UEFA apologizes to fans for chaos in Champions League final

UEFA has issued a “sincere” apology to all fans affected by the chaotic events at last Saturday’s Champions League final.

Football’s governing body of Europe announced on Tuesday that it had launched an independent review into access issues that led to fans being crushed and tear-gassed outside the Stade de France in Paris ahead of Real Madrid’s 1-0 win over Liverpool .

She has now released another statement apologizing for the distress caused to followers.

The statement read: “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 June 28th, 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 Brandão 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.

The governing body added: “The findings of the review, conclusions and recommendations are detailed in the report and are provided by Dr. Tiago Brandao Rodrigues and the experts who will support him.

“The review will begin immediately and should be completed within the shortest possible timeframe required for a comprehensive review of events.

“Once completed, the report will be published by UEFA on www.uefa.com in the interest of transparency.”

UEFA initially blamed the late arrival of fans for the problems, before later issuing a statement citing fake tickets as the cause.

French government ministers reinforced the latter claims, claiming that “fraud at an industrial level” led to the ensuing fiasco.

Although it was mainly Liverpool fans who were affected, some Real Madrid fans were also caught up in the chaos, leading to the Spanish club releasing a scathing statement on Friday.

Real demanded answers after questioning the decision to hold the final at the Stade de France and their response came after Liverpool were quick to request a full investigation into the fiasco.

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