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UEFA is responsible for security failures which almost led to disaster at the Champions League final in Paris last May, an independent report commissioned by European football’s governing body has concluded.
“It is remarkable that no one lost their life,” the investigation panel wrote in a 220-page document published Monday into a near “mass fatality catastrophe” at the biggest club game in world football.
Tens of thousands of football fans were held in heavily congested queues for hours before the game between Liverpool and Real Madrid at the Stade de France – causing dangerous crushes to develop as the situation deteriorated.
The report also criticised French public authorities and the police for wrongly assuming that Liverpool fans posed a threat to public order, and for using crowd control measures including tear gas and pepper spray.
But the document makes clear that the primary responsibility lies with UEFA and its commercial subsidiary UEFA Events.
Upon the release of the report, UEFA’s General Secretary Theodore Theodoridislater apologised to Liverpool fans affected by the chaos.