New report says Liverpool fans 'treated with contempt' at Champions League final in Paris

Professor Phil Scraton, lead author of "Treated with Contempt" says female fans were 'sexually assaulted by stewards' while being searched on way into the stadium

A new independent report based on hundreds of eyewitness accounts says Liverpool fans were "treated with contempt" and ives were "put at risk" by the "abject failure" of UEFA at the Champions League final in Paris.

The report also says because of their understanding of the Hillsborough disaster, the way Liverpool fans reacted "prevented a fatal tragedy".

Our Sports Correspondent Chris Hall was in Paris for the Champions League Final and filed this report in May.

The Independent Panel Report Into Fans’ Experiences Before, During and After the 2022 Champions League Final in Paris has been put together by Hillsborough campaigner Professor Phil Scraton, Deena Haydon, Lucy Easthope, Patricia Canning and Peter Marshall.

Now published, the report's 53 findings focus on policing, pre-match preparation, fans’ experiences and UEFA’s role and responsibilities.

Some of the key findings include:

  • Inadequate pre-match preparation by UEFA and the agencies in Paris

  • Aggressive policing – before, during and after the match

  • Fans’ left traumatised by unprovoked assaults by the police and local gangs;

  • Abject failure by UEFA in meeting its responsibilities.

The report states "Fans were subjected to unprovoked tear-gassing by the paramilitary police. On leaving the stadium they were attacked at knife-point by gangs who stole their possessions.

"They were tear-gassed repeatedly by the police.

"In their extensive testimonies, often reflecting on the Hillsborough tragedy, fans demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the unfolding, dangerous circumstances: the underpass bottleneck where crushing occurred; the confusion regarding gates, their irregular operation and crushing in queues; and hostile policing.

"Grounded in their understanding, and for some direct experience, of the Hillsborough disaster, Liverpool fans prevented a fatal tragedy occurring through their collective action. They protected vulnerable fans, appealed for calm, and took care of those affected by crushing or tear gas.

"The immediate official response, at the stadium and from senior French politicians, was to hold Liverpool fans responsible for the situation outside the stadium that led to the delayed kick-off.

"It is clearly evident, however, that fans’ responsible conduct and self-regulation prevented the occurrence of further serious injuries and potential deaths."

UEFA has commissioned its own report which will be published in November 2022.

It says it will not be making any comment on the reports from the Independent Panel until then.