UEFA’s statement blaming late Liverpool fans for the delay in last season’s Champions League final was pre-planned.
According to reports in The Guardian, the announcement was arranged ‘a considerable amount of time before the day of the match’ against Real Madrid in Paris.
Kick-off at the Stade De France was delayed by 36 minutes in total after Liverpool supporters were denied entry outside the stadium, with fans being caged in by French police who used tear gas and pepper spray on people of all ages.
A UEFA statement at the time claimed that thousands of Liverpool fans had arrived at the stadium with fake tickets for the match to cause the delay, however fans told talkSPORT that they had arrived at the stadium more than two hours before kick-off.
A Liverpool spokesperson at the time said: “We are hugely disappointed at the stadium entry issues and break down of the security perimeter that Liverpool fans faced this evening at the Stade de France.
“This is the greatest match in European football and supporters should not have to experience the scenes we have witnessed tonight.
“We have officially requested a formal investigation into the causes of these unacceptable issues.”
A report from the French Senate claimed in July that there was ‘a lack of preparation’ and an ‘impossibility of entry to the stadium’, while UEFA issued a sincere apology to those who had to experience or witness frightening and distressing events before the match.
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However news of the pre-planned stadium announcement will do little to appease the Liverpool fans who endured such unsavory scenes before the match, with Liverpool, East Derby, MP Ian Byrne calling the reports ‘horrifying’.
He said: “I find it truly shocking and horrifying to hear that UEFA – the confederation of Europe’s national football associations including the English FA – had a pre-prepared statement blaming supporters, as a standard explanation for a kick-off delay.
“To do it to Liverpool supporters after everything we’ve been through is appalling.
“We need full answers as to how all these decisions were made.”