Uefa has failed to satisfy Liverpool that its “independent review” of the policing and safety failures at the Champions League final will be thorough or independent enough, but the club have agreed to meet the Portuguese MP appointed to chair it.
Liverpool did not make a public statement after receiving Uefa’s response to 13 questions they posed last week about the review, but a club source said they were not yet satisfied Tiago Brandão Rodrigues is the right appointment. Nor is the club yet satisfied the review will be the thorough, independent and transparent investigation it has insisted on.
Uefa announced the review, and Rodrigues’s appointment, without consultation two days after the final at the Stade de France, where thousands of Liverpool and Real Madrid supporters were held in long queues, teargassed by French riot police and attacked in surrounding streets after the match. Uefa has still not retracted the two statements made during the night of chaos that instantly put the blame on Liverpool supporters for late arrival and for thousands seeking entry with forged tickets, allegations that are widely regarded as false.
Liverpool questioned the review’s independence and posed the questions to Uefa about Rodrigues’s suitability and Uefa’s reasons for appointing him. A former Portuguese minister of education, a portfolio that includes responsibility for sport, Rodrigues worked closely in that role with Tiago Craveiro, then the chief executive of the Portuguese Football Federation, who is now an adviser to the Uefa president, Aleksander Ceferin.
Uefa is understood to have explained that its principal reason for appointing Rodrigues is that he was the relevant minister when Portugal hosted the last two Champions League finals, in Lisbon and Porto, which were relocated at short notice due to the pandemic. This year’s final was relocated to Paris from St Petersburg after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, giving Uefa and the French authorities three months to ensure its safe and smooth running.
However, Liverpool plan to question Rodrigues further, including asking which experts will be appointed to the panel he will chair. Liverpool’s owners, as well as supporters, remain furious at the danger and delays they were subjected to and outraged at the accusations against them.
Real Madrid also complained about the treatment of their supporters and Rodrigues is expected to meet club officials.