Over 200 days since the disturbing events Liverpool fans were subjected to at the Champions League final in Paris, UEFA’s Independent Inquiry Panel are still yet to publish their findings.
Less than a week after the final, UEFA said they would be undertaking an independent inquiry into the events that unfolded in the build-up to the match in Paris.
But as we enter 2023, they are still yet to reveal their findings, with Liverpool fans who were caught up in the chaos still awaiting answers.
Now, with only five months until the next Champions League final, supporters’ group Spirit of Shankly are asking UEFA to reassure fans that their investigation will be concluded imminently.
In full, their new statement reads:
“Following the unacceptable events at the UEFA Champions League Final on 28 May 2022 in Paris, UEFA announced, on June 3, 2022, they would be undertaking an independent inquiry into the ‘frightening and distressing events in the build-up to the UEFA Champions League Final at Stade de France on 28 May 2022 in Paris, on a night which should have been a celebration of European club football’.
“They went on to say: ‘No football fan should be put in that situation, and it must not happen again’.
“They stated the independent inquiry would (seek) ‘to identify shortcomings and responsibilities of all entities involved in the organisation of the final’.
“It is now January 2023, seven months – more than 200 days – later and still we have no answers.
“Alongside others, including members of the media, such as Dan Austin and Liverpool Echo correspondents, Spirit of Shankly have continually sought updates from the Inquiry Panel, yet there is still no clarity on when their report will be finalised, sent to UEFA or published. The November deadline has long since passed.
“We acknowledge the latest update from Dr Tiago Rodrigues, who is leading the panel, that we received in December, but a lack of concrete information remains a cause of concern to our supporters and members and provides no reassurance that the Inquiry is progressing to conclusion.
“We have been publicly supportive of the Panel’s process, with thoroughness and accuracy being prioritised over speed. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult for us to answer questions, from aforesaid supporters and members, with no solid information to give them.
“We wish to remain engaged and we are committed to holding the Panel and their work to account, but without a firm date for publication of their report, we are increasingly concerned that any outcomes, recommendations and actions will not be implemented in the current football calendar year.
“The next Champions League Final is just five months away and it will only become increasingly difficult to act on any recommendations in advance, something we find unacceptable given what fans endured before, during and after the last one in Paris.
“We implore UEFA and the Panel to provide reassurance to Liverpool supporters that the investigation into what happened in Paris will be concluded imminently and that lessons learnt will be in place in time for the final in Istanbul in June.
“As UEFA themselves stated: ‘No football fan should be put in that situation, and it must not happen again’.”