Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson wants the report into the incidents at the Champions League final to represent a “turning point” after “inadequate organisation” by UEFA.
The May 28 European showpiece between Liverpool and Real Madrid was twice delayed before kick-off at the Stade de France, with fans unable to enter the ground and tear-gassed by police.
UEFA initially blamed Liverpool fans attempting entry with “fake tickets” before an independent review, commissioned by European football’s governing body, placed the blame at the door of the organisers.
The report released on Monday apportioned “primary responsibility” to UEFA, while also criticising the actions of the French Football Federation and local police authorities.
On Tuesday, Liverpool demanded action from UEFA following what the report described as a “near miss”, and Henderson is determined the events of last year must not be repeated.
“The Paris report needs to be a turning point for the treatment of football fans,” Henderson wrote on Twitter, sharing Liverpool’s response. “No one should have their safety jeopardised by inadequate organisation.”
Liverpool Football Club would like to remind fans of our mental health toolkit, which offers support to fans suffering the ongoing effects of the events surrounding the Champions League final, following the publication of UEFA’s Independent Panel Report.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 14, 2023
Comparisons were drawn by Liverpool supporters between Paris 2022 and the fatal events at Hillsborough in 1989, which resulted in the death of 97 supporters, with the report concurring that UEFA risked a repeat.
It stated “the parallels between Hillsborough 1989 and Paris 2022 are palpable”, with incidents at both stadiums “preventable” and “caused by the failures of those responsible for public safety”.
Liverpool urged UEFA to “fully and transparently” fulfil the report’s 21 recommendations, which included putting safety and security at the forefront of planning and having matches managed with a “facilitation and service” approach towards supporters, rather than viewing them as a potential public order problem.
The Premier League club added action must be taken “to ensure there are no more ‘near misses'”, and Henderson expects to see progress as soon as possible.
“The sooner action is taken, the better,” he added.
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