Liverpool fans' Uefa claims hearing to go ahead

Liverpool fans cover their mouths and noses as they queue to gain entry to the stadium as Kick off is delayed ahead of the UEFA Champions League final at the Stade de France, Paris
Fans were penned in and sprayed with tear gas outside the Stade de France [PA Media]

An application by European football's governing body Uefa to adjourn a court hearing involving claims by 887 Liverpool fans involved in the chaos of the Paris 2022 Champions League final has been dismissed by a judge.

Fans were penned in and sprayed with tear gas outside the Stade de France as kick-off was delayed by 36 minutes.

Mr Justice Pepperall, sitting at the High Court in Liverpool, said a hearing scheduled for 27 and 28 June would go ahead.

Lawyers for both the fans and football authorities are set to argue over whether the matter should be dealt with in UK or French courts.

'Serious problems'

Uefa said earlier this year it had reached a "full and final settlement" with supporters represented by two other law firms, who had made personal injury claims, before their claims got to court.

The hearing earlier concerned another group of hundreds of fans, represented by law firm Leigh Day, who first began their joint action in April 2023.

An independent report published last year found Uefa bore "primary responsibility" for the failures which almost led to European club football's biggest occasion in Paris in May 2022 becoming a "mass fatality catastrophe".

Serious congestion problems outside the stadium saw thousands of Liverpool fans penned in against perimeter fences and stuck in a motorway underpass ahead of the game against Real Madrid, with kick-off on the night delayed by 36 minutes.

Those same supporters, who had already been targeted by local youths trying to steal tickets, were then tear-gassed and pepper-sprayed by police.

Uefa argue UK courts do not have jurisdiction to deal with the claims and want more time for experts in French law, appointed by each side, to report back.

But Mr Justice Pepperall ruled the issue would be dealt with at the jurisdictional hearing later this month.

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