UEFA’s statement, blaming Liverpool fans arriving “late” for delaying the Champions League final, was reportedly prepared days before the actual game.
The final in Paris between the Reds and Real Madrid was marred by off-game events as European football’s flagship event descended into chaos at the Stade de France.
UEFA produced a statement on the big screens at France’s national stadium, announcing that a delay in the scheduled 9pm kick-off had been caused by “the late arrival of fans”.
The Guardian has now reported that this statement was compiled in the week leading up to the May 28 final.
It was a statement that enraged Liverpool supporters, thousands of whom were stranded outside the stadium, had arrived three hours or more before kick-off.
Around 15,000 fans were stuck in a dangerous bottleneck queue at a border checkpoint, with some being denied entry into the stadium at turnstiles that had been closed by police and stewards.
At the end of the game, Uefa issued a second statement, blaming “thousands of fans” in Liverpool with “fake tickets” for the kick-off delay.
There had also been other harrowing scenes outside the stadium, with fans being hit with tear gas and batons after they were accused of trying to break into the ground.
In fact, many of them were themselves attacked by local thugs and police officers.
Ian Byrne, a Liverpool MP and supporter who was at the game, according to the Guardian, said: “I find it really shocking and appalling to hear that Uefa – the confederation of Europe’s national football associations, including the Football Association of England – have had an allegation . prepared statement blaming fans as the standard explanation for kick-off being delayed.
“It’s appalling to do it to Liverpool supporters after everything we’ve been through. We need full answers on how all these decisions were made.’