Real Madrid reject UEFA fan refund offers for final chaos

AP , Thursday 9 Mar 2023

Real Madrid has rejected UEFA’s plan to refund fans the price of their ticket to last year's chaotic Champions League final in Paris, and said Thursday it would help them file their own legal claims.

File Photo: Police stand in front of fans prior to the UEFA Champions League final football match between Liverpool and Real Madrid at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, north of Paris. AFP


Madrid said it expected more from UEFA after talks about compensation than just the “insufficient” offer of the ticket cost with conditions attached to prove their eligibility.

The offer to Madrid and Liverpool fans last week had been promised by UEFA after an investigation panel it appointed outlined serious organizational failures leading to a near “mass fatality catastrophe” at Stade de France on May 28.

"Many of them were victims of ticket theft and the theft of personal belongings such as bags, phones and wallets,” Madrid said in a statement. “And more seriously, some of these fans were subjected to physical assaults that required medical attention and admission to hospital.”

The dispute is the latest legal rift between the Champions League winners and the competiton's organizers.

Both await a European Court of Justice ruling into a challenge to UEFA’s authority over international competitions brought by Madrid and other clubs who launched the failed Super League project in April 2021.

“Regrettably, our club believes that UEFA’s proposal ... is insufficient,” Madrid said, adding it had been “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.”

“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,” it said.

Madrid members and fans were promised details within days of how to pursue legal action against UEFA.

The club said it would help “members and fans who experienced any kind of harm at the 2022 Champions League final in Paris to make the appropriate claims against UEFA for their personal and legitimate interests.”

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