Fans claim they suffered psychological and physical damage in this year’s Champions League final
More than 1,700 Liverpool supporters have registered with law firms ahead of planned action against UEFA in which they are expected to claim they suffered physical and psychological trauma in the Champions League final in Paris in May .
Some people within the collective allege having suffered fractures during disturbances in the crowd before the showpiece match between Liverpool and Real Madrid at the Stade de France, others are said to have symptoms of anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.
The match was originally scheduled to take place in Saint Petersburg, Russia, but was moved to the French capital by European football authorities following sanctions imposed on Russian sport following the military operation in Ukraine.
Numerous reports from the May 28 scene detailed various disturbances allegedly caused by poor crowd control efforts imposed by French police.
One of these complaints centers around a narrow route. Liverpool supporters were sent on their journey to the stadium which ended at the checkpoint causing the congregation of supporters to be bottlenecked and leading to several supporters claiming they were crushed against barriers.
Several turnstiles to access the stadium were also left closed, leading to large crowds of people trying to enter, as well as an increased risk of injury to fans.
UEFA and French police later blamed Liverpool supporters for the crowd trouble.
Liverpool lawyer Gerard Long said his law firm, Binghams Solicitors, had received 1,300 inquiries from people wishing to make complaints against UEFA.
“We represent people who have suffered physical crushing at the turnstiles, and many people who have suffered psychologically; some feared for their livessaid Long, according to The Guardian.
“Customers have reported anxiety, PTSD, nightmares, never wanting to go to a European football match again or even to France.
“Our case is that UEFA, as the host, had a duty of care to the people – who paid a lot of money for the tickets – and they breached it.”
Another legal expert, Jill Paterson, says her firm has attracted interest from around 400 people who attended the game and who reported various crush-related injuries, as well as police who used batons and shields against the fans.
“Our clients tell us they’ve been run over and tear gassed, and they fear for their lives“, Paterson said. “Some are people who have already been affected by the Hillsborough disaster.
“Thousands of people spent their hard-earned cash on tickets and travel for what should have been a world-class event. Their safety should have been guaranteed; it’s what they paid for as part of their ticket – a well-organized event with all the necessary safety and security protocols and resources in place.
“There is no excuse for the chaos and trauma that has unfolded. We were approached by a Liverpool fan almost immediately after the event and have been looking into the matter since then and are in contact with French lawyers to build a strong case to try and secure redress for the fans ..”
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A report from UEFA on the incident is due towards the end of November, and the organization said it would not comment further until it is published.
However, he has already expressed regret on the stages”to all the fans who had to experience or witness scary and agonizing situations that night. No football fan should be put in this situation, and it must not happen again.”