6:29 AM ET
Mark OgdenSenior Writer, ESPN FC
Every Liverpool supporter with an official ticket for last season’s Champions League final against Real Madrid in Paris will be given a full refund by UEFA following the chaotic scenes outside the Stade de France that led to hundreds of fans missing the game.
UEFA announced that all 19,618 tickets which made up Liverpool’s official allocation will be eligible for a refund. Madrid supporters who were caught up in the delays outside the Stade de France will also be able to submit a claim for a refund.
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An independent inquiry last month found UEFA to have primary responsibility for crowd management failures which almost led to disaster outside the stadium.
And despite an initial claim by UEFA that the “late arrival of supporters” had contributed to the kickoff being delayed by 38 minutes in the French capital, Liverpool fans were found to be blameless for the huge crowds and congestion.
Claims by the French authorities that “thousands” of counterfeit tickets had been a factor in the problems outside the stadium — the French police also used tear gas on supporters queueing to pass through the turnstiles — were also discounted by the independent inquiry.
And in an unprecedented move that sources have told ESPN will cost UEFA “millions,” the European football governing body has confirmed that it has opened a system for supporters to claim back the cost of their match ticket in Paris.
“UEFA will implement a special refund scheme for fans who were most affected when accessing the Stade de France on 28 May 2022,” a UEFA statement said.
“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 9 p.m. 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.”
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Commenting on the special refund scheme, UEFA general secretary Theodore Theodoridis said: “We have taken into account a huge number of views expressed both publicly and privately and we believe we have devised a scheme that is comprehensive and fair.
“We value the input from the Liverpool FC supporter organisations Spirit of Shankly [SoS] and Liverpool Disabled Supporters Association (LDSA) as well as the open and transparent dialogue throughout this period.
“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.”