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Law firm investigating possible legal action against Uefa for Liverpool fans

Law firm investigating possible legal action against Uefa for Liverpool fans

  • Action is for fans caught up in Champions League final chaos
  • Claim is to allege Uefa failed to ensure safe environment at game

A UK law firm is investigating a potential group legal action against Uefa on behalf of Liverpool fans regarding the chaotic events at the Champions League final in Paris in May.

Leigh Day said it was investigating the potential claim for individuals who suffered physical or psychological injuries, after being contacted by a number of supporters. The firm said it believed 5-10,000 people could be affected and would be able to join the claim, which is to allege that Uefa failed to ensure a safe and secure environment for those attending.

On the night of the 28 May final between Liverpool and Real Madrid at the Stade de France, which kicked off more than half an hour late, fans were locked out of the ground and teargassed after serious congestion problems developed. After the match supporters complained of being robbed by local gangs, with police, who had earlier employed heavy-handed methods in an attempt to deal with the growing crowd issue, offering no protection.

France’s interior minister, Gérald Darmanin, initially suggested the biggest problem had been an influx of supporters with fake tickets. However, a report by the French Senate found Liverpool supporters had been unfairly blamed by Darmanin, whom it found had wanted “to divert attention from the inability of the state to adequately manage the crowds present”.

The report described Uefa’s management of the ticketing system as “unsuitable” and criticised a lack of training for stewards, who it said were quickly overwhelmed.

Uefa appointed Dr Tiago Brandão Rodrigues to lead a review, which is due to provide its preliminary findings in September. The governing body also released a statement to “sincerely apologise to all spectators who had to experience or witness frightening and distressing events in the buildup” to the final.

The legal team investigating is being led by the consumer and travel law experts Clare Campbell and Jill Paterson, who said in a statement from Leigh Day: “Supporters who had paid to watch a football match at the highest level of the game should have been able to expect that robust safety protocols and adequate risk assessments would be put in place by Uefa, sadly this does not appear to be the case.

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“We believe Uefa failed to provide a safe and secure environment for those attending and we are investigating their legal liability to those who suffered injuries as a result. It was truly shocking to see how Liverpool fans and others who had travelled to watch the Champions League final were treated both at the match and in the aftermath.

“The accounts of their experiences paint a picture of a terrifying situation where people really feared for their lives.”

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