An independent review into the events surrounding the Champions League final has been announced by UEFA.
European football’s governing body has appointed Dr Tiago Brandao Rodrigues to lead a “comprehensive” report into the problems Liverpool fans faced in Paris on Saturday.
Thousands of Liverpool fans were stuck outside the stadium and sprayed with tear gas and pepper spray as they tried to enter the Stade de France ahead of the match against Real Madrid.
The review will examine the decision-making, responsibility and behaviours of all entities involved in the final, UEFA said.
Earlier, the French interior minister blamed “fraud on an industrial scale” for the chaos – and said thousands of fake tickets had caused the mayhem.
The final, which was originally meant to be played in St Petersburg but was moved to Paris after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, was overshadowed after thousands of Liverpool fans had difficulty getting into the stadium.
Kick-off was delayed by over 30 minutes with Liverpool fans seen waiting in huge queues, with many supporters stuck outside for hours and others not allowed in until half-time.
British police, UK government ministers and Liverpool FC said an “aggressive approach” was used against fans of the Merseyside club.
Former Liverpool player and manager Sir Kenny Dalglish told Sky News earlier that the French authorities should be “embarrassed”, while left-back Andy Robertson said a club-issued ticket to the Champions League final was dismissed as “fake”.
Portugal’s education minister to spearhead the review
Earlier, Liverpool asked supporters who attended the match to complete a survey to support an investigation.
Both the club and Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries called on UEFA to launch an independent review into the chaos.
Announcing the review, UEFA said: “In order to guarantee his independent status in the process, Dr Brandao Rodrigues agreed to execute this task on a pro bono basis.
“Evidence will be gathered from all relevant parties and the findings of the independent report will be made public once completed and upon receipt of the findings, UEFA will evaluate the next steps.”
Dr Rodrigues is Portugal’s Minister of Education and was previously the Portuguese Olympic attaché during the London Olympics in 2012.
‘Concerning’ police response
On Monday, Liverpool’s chief executive, Billy Hogan, said he was “incredibly surprised” by the comments made by France’s sports minister, adding that the club’s chairman has sent a letter to the minister asking for an apology.
Shortly before the end of the game, in which Liverpool lost 1-0, UEFA released a statement blaming fake tickets purchased by Liverpool fans on the delay.
“In the lead-up to the game, the turnstiles at the Liverpool end became blocked by thousands of fans who had purchased fake tickets which did not work in the turnstiles,” the statement said.
“This created a build-up of fans trying to get in. As a result, the kick-off was delayed by 35 minutes to allow as many fans as possible with genuine tickets to gain access.
“As numbers outside the stadium continued to build up after kick-off, the police dispersed them with tear gas and forced them away from the stadium.”
Cabinet minister Brandon Lewis told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme it appeared that an “aggressive approach” had been used against Liverpool fans by French police and it was “concerning”.
Ian Byrne, the Labour MP for Liverpool West Derby, was at the match in Paris and said he hadn’t witnessed such scenes since the 1989 Hillsborough disaster that left 97 Liverpool fans dead.
He told Sky News’ Kay Burley he was seeing a similar “narrative of lies” beginning to build after French police and UEFA, European football’s governing body, blamed Liverpool fans.
“I think we’ve got to make sure that the scenes that we experienced on Saturday are never ever replicated again at any sporting occasion,” he added.