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UEFA: We were wrong in Athens


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I thought all the problems in Athens occurred because we're the worst behaved supporters in the world.





UEFA: We were in wrong on Athens

Mar 3 2008



by Luke Traynor, Liverpool Echo



UEFA has admitted its arrangements for last year’s chaotic Champions League final were based around an athletics event.


The statement gave a huge boost to the Liverpool fans suing the organisation after failing to get into the Olympic stadium, in Athens, despite holding legitimate tickets.


Uefa spokesman William Gaillard made the admission while talking about security arrangements for this year’s final in Moscow.


He said: “The stadium in Athens last year was an Olympic stadium, therefore the arrangements were for an athletics crowd.


“This year there will be electronic turnstiles.”


Liverpool law firm Kirwans, which is representing up to 40 Reds fans in their legal claim against Uefa, said they were buoyed by Mr Gaillard’s comments.


It said the statement proved admission and ticketing procedures for the high-profile clash with AC Milan in the Greek capital last May were “inappropriate”.


Simon Gibson, from Kirwans, today called on the governing body to pursue a settlement with his clients to “avoid a lengthy and expensive court battle”.


He said: “How can Uefa hold a showpiece final between two of Europe’s best-supported football teams in a stadium that is suitable for athletics?


“This is one of the questions we will ask the Greek courts.


“It appears that now, since what happened in Athens, Uefa appear to be finding more appropriate stadia and making more appropriate security arrangements.


“I hope my clients’ claims will be settled quickly in recognition of this.”


Last year, fans were outraged after it emerged only 65% of tickets were going to fans of Liverpool or AC Milan.


Uefa has now upped that quota to 75% of Moscow’s 70,000 capacity Luzhniki Stadium, with 10,500 going on sale to the public on its own website.


Mr Gaillard added: “Liverpool fans had problems last year, we know that, but we cannot manage tickets that are given to the clubs involved in the final.


“Once we give tickets to clubs, they have to distribute them. We cannot go into cities and start distributing them ourselves.”


Some Liverpool fans could also sue for the cost of flights and hotel accommodation.


One supporter with a ticket flew from Canada to Athens, only to be turned away.


Uefa denies responsibility.


Fans making the claim need up to £50,000 to pursue their case.


To help the legal fight, contact Kirwans on 0151-229 5600.

Edited by Eiler99
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