Liverpool Fans Get Refunds, Apology After UEFA Ticket Mess
Liverpool fans have received an official apology and will be eligible for refunds of the price they paid for tickets to the 2022 UEFA Champions League Final in France, after an investigation found that policing and security failures caused chaos outside Stade de France last May when Liverpool and Real Madrid faced off for the European Club league’s crown. The move is a stark reversal from the initial stages of the reaction to the event, which saw UEFA officials attempt to pin blame on Liverpool fans and ticket resale for the dangerous conditions.
At minimum, any fan who had a ticket from Liverpool’s alottment of just over 19,000 tickets to the event will be eligible for a refund from the organizers. Thousands of others, who had purchased tickets through other means and got caught up in the stadium mess will likely also be eligible for a refund. That, however, isn’t enough for some impacted by the ticketing mess.
“The announcement [that refunds will be available for those impacted] is welcome not go far enough,” tweeted a law firm that is representing fans who were impacted at the game. “We await a reply to the letter of claim regarding the hundreds of fans injured.”
The announcement that UEFA will refund fans who had tickets for last year’s Champions League Final in Paris is welcome but does not go far enough and we await a reply to the letter of claim regarding the hundreds of fans injured.https://t.co/zB5am0rfBt
— Leigh Day (@LeighDay_Law) March 7, 2023
In the lead-up to the contest in Paris, attempts at strict control of tickets to the event were becoming clear. Liverpool supporters were reportedly threatened with bans on future ticket purchase if they were found to be listing tickets for resale, despite the fact that UEFA and the club themselves likely had a far higher number of tickets to pass on to partners and sponsors than were distributed to supporters. Such measures likely contributed to a significant black market for tickets, as well as the increased likelihood that consumers who did not secure tickets through the official ballot were liable to become victims of scammers in attempts to purchase tickets outside of legal and protected marketplaces.
Once the match day arrived, poor planning led many event-goers to be herded into narrow spaces outside of the stadium, leading to anger as the game start time approached and fans were not able to get through the crowd to the stadium entry point. At one point, French police sprayed tear gas into some areas where fans were corralled. UEFA quickly blamed the chaos on Liverpool fans, saying that huge numbers had turned up without tickets and caused problems, but an investigation proved that such claims were entirely made up.
A French Senate investigation last year faulted the authorities for the chaos, calling it a “fiasco” and raising concerns about French policing before this year’s Rugby World Cup and next summer’s Paris Olympic Games. An investigation by UEFA, released last month, was even more direct: Its harshly critical report concluded it was only “a matter of chance” that no fans had died. That report laid the principal blame on UEFA.
Refunds for fans who do decide to take UEFA up on their refund offer will be handled by the Liverpool club, reportedly for privacy reasons regarding their payment details since the initial ballot and distribution had been handled through the club.
Last Updated on March 8, 2023 by Dave Clark
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