More than 1,700 Liverpool fans who allege they were injured or suffered psychological trauma as a result of the crowd chaos at this year’s Champions League final in Paris are to sue UEFA, lawyers said on Friday. European football governing body UEFA is facing group action following the showpiece match between Liverpool and Real Madrid in Paris on May 28.
UEFA delayed kick-off by 35 minutes, citing “security issues”, with fans subjected to crushes, teargas and street crime.
A French Senate inquiry contradicted initial assertions by UEFA and the French government that Liverpool fans had been mainly responsible for the trouble by not having proper tickets.
The inquiry instead cited a “string of dysfunctions” including a lack of preparation by authorities and UEFA, as well as poorly executed security arrangements.
Liverpool law firm Bingham’s said clients had spoken of “terrifying scenes” at the Stade de France.
Bingham’s has joined global law company Pogust Goodhead in a lawsuit for 1,450 clients alleging negligence, with Leigh Day, another law firm, also bringing a group action on behalf of 400 more fans.
Lawyers said they planned to sue UEFA for breach of contract in ticket sales and negligence over a duty of care they had towards supporters, who were harmed both physically and mentally.
Gerard Long of Binghams told the BBC: “As a life-long Liverpool fan, I was absolutely horrified when I heard how events unfolded at what should have been the highlight of the football season.
“Not only fellow fans, but my friends, family and clients who were in attendance that day have spoken of the terrifying scenes that surrounded the Stade de France before, and even after, the game.”
Liverpool have gathered 8,500 testimonials from fans, as well as photographs and videos, to submit to an independent review commissioned by UEFA.
Panel members are now set to travel to Merseyside, with Liverpool chief executive Billy Hogan saying: “It’s critically important that lessons can be learned and there’s no repeat of what happened in Paris.”
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