According to a new report by David Conn of The Guardian, it has now been revealed that UEFA’s initial statement at the Champions League Final, blaming “the late arrival of fans” for the delay of the final, was prepared in advance. This statement was a stark contrast from what fans were seeing on the ground and on social media, where it was clear that fans had arrived as early as three hours prior and had been stuck in dangerous bottleneck queues outside the stadium, with many fans subjected to attacks from local thugs, and then brutal riot policing, including pepper spray and teargas.
Upon the conclusion of the final, UEFA released a second statement, blaming “thousands of fans” at the Liverpool end with “fake tickets” for the kick-off delay, which has since been disproven. The report from Conn also contains details of UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin dismissing Steve Rotheram, the mayor of Liverpool city region, who had just been robbed of his phone and wallet outside the subway, as he confronted the UEFA head about the danger that was occurring outside.
Shame on UEFA, but it’s hardly surprising that they would act in their own self-interest and deflect blame onto supporters.