Law firm investigating possible legal action against UEFA for Liverpool fans | liverpool

A UK law firm is investigating a possible class action lawsuit against UEFA on behalf of Liverpool fans over the chaotic events of the Champions League final in Paris in May.

Leigh Day said he was investigating the potential claim of people with physical or psychological injuries, after being contacted by a number of supporters. The company said it believed 5,000 to 10,000 people could be affected and could join the claim, which alleges UEFA failed to provide a safe and secure environment for attendees.

On the evening of the May 28 final between Liverpool and Real Madrid at the Stade de France, which started more than half an hour late, fans were locked off the pitch and sprayed with tear gas after the appearance serious traffic jams. After the last supporters complained of being robbed by local gangs, the police, who had previously used brutal methods in an attempt to deal with the growing crowd problem, offered no protection.

French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin initially suggested the biggest problem had been an influx of supporters with counterfeit tickets. But a report by the French Senate revealed that Liverpool supporters had been unfairly blamed by Darmanin, who he said had wanted to ‘distract attention from the state’s failure to properly manage the crowds present’.

The report described UEFA’s handling of the ticketing system as “inadequate” and criticized a lack of training for stewards, who it said were quickly overwhelmed.

UEFA have appointed Dr Tiago Brandão Rodrigues to conduct a post-match review, which is due to deliver its preliminary findings in September. The governing body also issued a statement to “sincerely apologize to all spectators who had to experience or witness the frightening and distressing events during the preparation” for the final.

The legal team leading the investigation is led by consumer and travel law experts Clare Campbell and Jill Paterson, who said in a Leigh Day statement: “Supporters who had paid to watch a football match at the highest level of the game should have been able to expect strong security protocols and adequate risk assessments to be in place by UEFA, this unfortunately does not appear to be the case.

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“We believe UEFA failed to provide a safe and secure environment for the participants and 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 traveled to watch the Champions League final were being treated both during the game and afterwards.

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

Denise W. Whigham