European football governing body UEFA are ready to refund all Liverpool fans after the shocking 2021/22 Champions League final chaos in Paris.
The 2021/22 Champions League between Real Madrid and Liverpool sparked reactions after it was marred with chaos which led to the delay of the kickoff by 15 minutes.
Footage of Liverpool fans struggling to break through barricades to secure entry to the stadium swept the media.
Security operatives were on guard trying to deny the Reds supporters entry into the stadium.
As more fans gradually cluttered the gates of Stade de France, chaotic scenes erupted as some fans began to beat the barricades by climbing the fencing to gain entry into the stadium.
The match was forced to be delayed by 15 minutes as the local organizing committee and the security operatives scrambled to restore order before the match finally kicked off.
After the game, accusations and counter-accusations were lobbed like mortar bombs to purported culprits in the saga. French authorities, including the UEFA blamed Liverpool fans for the chaos while the club’s hierachy retuned the blame on the organizers of the tournament.
After initial exchange of blames, UEFA set up an independent commission to investigate the extant and immediate factors that resulted in the chaos.
A thorough investigation into the incident undertaken by the commission blames UEFA and the Local Organizing Committee led by the French FA for the crisis.
In it’s report, Liverpool supporters were cleared off all accusations while the melee was traced to the poor ticketing system and other logistical problems that was not attended to by the planners.
After the report by the commission, UEFA issued an apology to all Liverpool fans who were affected by the disaster.
Now, the football governing body has also assumed full responsibility for the ugly incident and have confirmed their decision to refund all the loses incurred by the Reds supporters.
”We recognise the negative experiences of those supporters on the day and with this scheme we will refund fans who had bought tickets and who were the most affected by the difficulties in accessing the stadium,” the UEFA statement reads.
There are projections UEFA’s plan to refund the Reds Supporters after the incident will cost the football organizing body about £3.5million or more.
Top price tickets for the 2021/22 Champions League final varied from €610 to €690 while the cheapest varied from €62 to €70.
From the records, Liverpool fans bought a total of 19,618 tickets for the match. Hence, the amount that will be dolled out by UEFA will run into millions.
The sudden shift by UEFA to offer the refund has been welcomed by some sections of Liverpool fans while others are reportedly bent on pressing charges against the body.
Meanwhile, the football governing body has outlined criteria for the refund with priority on “most affected” fans who had the “most difficult circumstances” trying to access specific gates and could not enter the stadium before “21:00 CEST” or “could not enter at all”
Some Real Madrid fans who were also affected by the melee are also considered for a refund but must meet the listed criteria as applied to Liverpool fans.
FULL UEFA STATEMENT ON THE REFUND
UEFA will implement a special refund scheme for fans who were most affected when accessing the Stade de France on 28 May 2022.
Refunds will be available to all fans with tickets for gates A, B, C, X, Y and Z where the most difficult circumstances were reported. In addition, all fans who according to the access control data did not enter the stadium before 21:00 CEST (the originally scheduled kickoff time), or who were not able to enter the stadium at all, will be eligible for a refund. Finally, UEFA will offer refunds to all fans who purchased accessibility tickets along with those of their accompanying persons.
Given these criteria, the special refund scheme covers all of the Liverpool FC ticket allocation for the Final, i.e. 19,618 tickets. Due to the nature of the original ticket sales process, whereby Liverpool fans purchased tickets from Liverpool FC and not directly from UEFA, UEFA has requested that the club implements the refunds to ensure personal data protection and for ease of process. The club has kindly confirmed that it will implement the special refund scheme.
Accordingly, UEFA will reimburse Liverpool FC the total value of these tickets and the club will then process the refunds to its supporters.
Refunds to fans of Real Madrid CF who meet the refund criteria will be processed based on the requests received from the ticket buyer via UEFA’s customer service. The same applies to neutral supporters who purchased tickets directly from UEFA and who are eligible for a refund.
We would also remind fans that, as announced by the Embassy of France in the United Kingdom, ticket holders who were victims of crimes committed in Paris may report their case to the relevant French authorities. The complaint form is available in English and can be accessed via this link and, once completed, should be posted to the French prosecutor using the address indicated in the document. [Source: UEFA.com]