Real Madrid rejects UEFA’s ‘insufficient’ Champions League final refund offer

Real Madrid have rejected UEFA’s compensation offer to fans affected by the chaos at last year’s Champions League final.

All 19,618 supporters who bought tickets from the official Liverpool allocation will be entitled to a full refund following events outside the Stade de France, including serious congestion problems and tear-gassing by police, which led to kick-off being delayed by more than half-an-hour.

However, Madrid fans will have to meet certain criteria laid down by UEFA, mainly relating to those who were not able to access the stadium before the scheduled 9pm kick-off time or who did not get in at all.

But the LaLiga club said the findings of an independent report published last month which said UEFA was primarily responsible for failures which almost led to a “mass fatality catastrophe” meant the compensation offer did not match the seriousness of events.

“Given the conclusiveness of the experts’ findings and the seriousness of the events described, Real Madrid has been holding talks with UEFA with the aim of assessing the compensation that will be offered to the fans,” said a statement.

“Our club was entirely confident that these solutions would be in line with the seriousness of the events, the extent of the damage caused and UEFA’s responsibility for them.

“Regrettably, our club believes that UEFA’s proposal is insufficient. It merely consists of the reimbursement of the ticket price, which is also subject to the fulfilment of a series of requirements, including providing proof of the time of access to the stadium.

“The content of the report stresses that all fans attending the final were victims of its inadequate organisation and their safety and security were compromised.

Liverpool fans stuck outside the Stade de France
Liverpool fans stuck outside the Stade de France (Adam Davy/PA).

“Therefore, irrespective of whether or not they were able to enter the stadium, or whether they did so at the expected time – which at any rate was due to the exceptionally good behaviour of the fans of the two clubs – the fact is that all the fans experienced an unacceptable delay in the start of the match.

“In addition, there was unacceptable insecurity both in accessing and leaving the stadium, as well as additional harm such as theft, assaults and threats (from local youths after the game).

“For this reason, Real Madrid has decided not to cooperate in the restricted compensation procedure proposed by UEFA, which we ask to redress the situation and assume its full responsibility.”

The club said they will offer assistance to all fans who wish to “make the appropriate claims against UEFA for their personal and legitimate interests”.