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UEFA is actively challenging attempts to bring collective legal action to the High Court following the chaotic scenes witnessed prior to 2022 Champions League final writes David Little, a Partner in our Corporate and Commercial department who increasingly handles Sports Law cases too.

Liverpool football fans are still waiting for compensation from UEFA after what many of them have described as the ‘worst day of their lives’ ahead of a match between Liverpool and Real Madrid back on 28 May 2022.

Tear gas and pepper spray were used by French police, who also apparently penned supporters into a dangerously narrow walkway. Fans were forced to wait for hours outside the Stade de France with some reportedly being refused entry despite having valid tickets. French government, police and UEFA united immediately sought to blame Liverpool supporters for the ensuing chaos.

A report later found that UEFA bore “primary responsibility” for its failure to ensure that spectators were safely funnelled into the stadium, a move which it said almost ended in “a mass fatality catastrophe”.

Legal action which sees over 1,100 claims against UEFA was launched last February. The lawyers representing fans said: “UEFA did not just ruin the biggest event in the football season, people were injured and traumatised and any compensation needs to reflect that.”

As the events took place in France, UEFA is now arguing that neither the High Court in Liverpool nor any court in England should hear the claims. arguing that the court will have to decide on the lawfulness of actions or failings of the French State regarding matters.

The supporters’ lawyers are contesting the application on the basis that the High Court in Liverpool is the appropriate court given that the events of 28 May affected a large number of Liverpool FC fans.

Lawyers from Leigh Day, Clare Campbell and Jill Paterson, who are representing fans said: “To say that the events that chaos unfolded at the Stade de France on 28 May 2022 would be an understatement. For UEFA to try and deflect away from the key role we believe it played in the organisational and safety failings is hugely disappointing.

“Thousands of supporters were left injured and traumatised and, even now, 20 months on from that fateful day, many of those impacted continue to deal with the repercussions.”

 

David Little, is a Partner in the Corporate & Commercial team and also Head of Sports Law for the firm. If you would like to contact him please quote Ref CB448 on either 07968 027343 or 020 7631 4141 or email company@bishopandsewell.co.uk

The above is accurate as at 24 January 2024. The information above may be subject to change.

The content of this note should not be considered legal advice and each matter should be considered on a case-by-case basis.


Category: Blog, News | Date: 24th Jan 2024


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