An independent review into the chaos at last year's Champions League final between European giants Liverpool and Real Madrid claims that Uefa's failings "almost led to disaster".
European football's governing body had apologised to the reds for originally blaming their fans for the anarchy which overshadowed the competition's showpiece, following the release of an independent review on Monday.
Both Uefa and French authorities have been found responsible for the crush in Paris, with reports stating that there is "no evidence" to support the "reprehensible" claims made against the Merseyside club supporters.
In the hours following the chaos at the UEFA Champions League final in Paris, Liverpool Football Club called on our supporters to write to us outlining their experiences.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 14, 2023
Liverpool Football Club has since responded to the review and released it via their official website.
"Last night UEFA published the Independent Panel Report into the failings that we saw first-hand in Paris and it is within this context that we call on UEFA and others at the top of the football regulation pyramid to come together and take positive and transparent action to ensure there are no more ‘near misses’", it read.
"We implore UEFA to fully enact the recommendations as outlined by the Panel – no matter how difficult – to ensure supporter safety is the number one priority at the heart of every UEFA football fixture.
"On the evening of the Champions League final at the Stade de France, even before the delayed kick-off was announced, we called on officials at the top of UEFA to delay kick-off and take control of the chaos that had developed outside the stadium. We also called on UEFA to launch a full independent and transparent investigation, in order to establish the facts."
🚨 BREAKING 🚨
Liverpool have called on UEFA to fully implement the 21 critical recommendations from the independent report from last season’s UEFA Champions League final. pic.twitter.com/zkQhjjynj5
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) February 14, 2023
It continued: "We knew that it was critical to understand why both Liverpool and Real Madrid supporters found ourselves in the situation where supporters’ safety was put at risk. We were determined to make sure a robust investigation was conducted in order that lessons are learned to ensure the safety of football supporters in Europe is never compromised again.
"Shocking false narratives were peddled in the immediate aftermath of that night in Paris; narratives that have since been totally disproven. The independent French Senate report published in July 2022 found Liverpool supporters were unfairly and wrongly blamed for the chaotic scenes to divert attention from the real organisational failures. The Independent Senate report also published 15 recommendations for improvements. No action has been taken on these recommendations to date.
"A further independent, 160-page report, using almost 500 eye-witness testimonies and authored by the highly respected critical criminologist, academic and author Professor Phil Scraton, concluded that UEFA had achieved abject failure in trying to meet its responsibilities.
"It is shocking that more than 30 years after the Hillsborough disaster any club and our group of fans would be subject to such fundamental safety failings which have had such a devastating impact on so many. But even more concerning is the realisation that for families, friends and survivors of Hillsborough, Paris has only exacerbated their suffering. Our thoughts go out to all our fans who have suffered as a result of Paris and we would remind them of the mental health support we put in place in the days following the disaster that was the UEFA Champions League final in Paris.
"As a football club with proud history in Europe, we call on UEFA to do the right thing and implement the 21 recommendations to ensure the safety of all football supporters attending any future UEFA football match."
Liverpool Football Club would like to remind fans of our mental health toolkit, which offers support to fans suffering the ongoing effects of the events surrounding the Champions League final, following the publication of UEFA’s Independent Panel Report.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 14, 2023
Liverpool supporter Tony O'Neil was at the game and the 1989 Hillsborough disaster.
Speaking after the release of the review, he recounted memories from both days: "It was horrific, to be honest - the mirrors or the similarity between Stade de France and Hillsborough.
"A lack of safety for the fans, poor policing, congestion and people panicking."