Exclusive: Stan Collymore warns UEFA's disgraceful handling of sporting events could lead to another tragedy 🚫
UEFA and French authorities have attracted serious criticism for the poor handling of the Champions League final
Stan Collymore has warned that further poor organisation of major sporting events could result in deaths.
The 51-year-old was responding to UEFA’s abysmal handling of the Champions League final contested between Liverpool and Real Madrid.
“Unless UEFA, the Premier League, FIFA, police generally pull their finger out and start organising football events properly - somebody is going to get killed,” the former Red exclusively told Empire of the Kop.
“Having a van across a concourse that is pushing 15 people to squeeze through a gap whereto - why on earth have we not learnt the lessons?
“So, UEFA - I think it’s on your watch. That’s the Euros and Paris. Two of the biggest stadiums in Europe and you messed it up.
“The policing should guarantee that Paris should not get a Champions League final for the next few years.”
The tragic scenes of supporters being pepper-sprayed and tear-gassed, all without cause, will be familiar to most with a Twitter account by now.
Yet, despite all the ironclad evidence online and the united reporting on the matter, exposing the events that unfolded before, during and after the clash in Paris, both UEFA and French authorities have ardently refused to shoulder any of the blame.
“I’ve seen the upticking in ropey policing - ‘ah, the English are here, let’s give ‘em a baton charge, let’s shift them into the ropiest part of the stadium,” Collymore continued.
“And UEFA and organising bodies not doing the sensible thing of having two or three rings of steel.
“So if you do turn up with a ticket that is ropey, which some did, you aren’t getting within a kilometre of the ground and the people that have can get into the ground safely.
“If we don’t do it, I guarantee that we are going to be talking about another tragedy somewhere in Europe within the next 12 months and it will be on UEFA’s watch. An utter and abject disgrace.”
Whilst a miracle on the pitch didn’t prove to be forthcoming for Liverpool in their 1-0 defeat to Carlo Ancelotti’s men, fortune arose where it was most needed in ensuring that supporters returned home safely after what was ultimately a wasted experience for many.
With so many now contemplating never returning for a major European fixture, however, it’s critical that UEFA embrace this wake-up call and act in the interests of the fans they serve.
They may not get another chance to get it right.