Liverpool fans are to be refunded by UEFA after the chaos which impacted so many fans outside the Stade de France ahead of last year's Champions League final.
The shocking scenes in Paris saw fans trapped in bottlenecks, and intimidated by police and locals, with many valid ticket holders refused entry to the stadium.
After an independent report blamed UEFA and the French authorities for the awful scenes suffered by Liverpool fans, European football's governing body has announced that fans who were refused entry to the Stade de France will be repaid in full for their troubles.
Liverpool fans to be refunded for Stade de France chaos
Last season's Champions League final saw two of Europe's most prestigious clubs meet at the Stade de France, but the clash between Liverpool and Real Madrid was quickly overshadowed by carnage in the surrounding area.
Liverpool fans reponsibly arrived up to three hours early for the game, before being forced on a circuitous route to the club's end of the stadium, ultimately ending up in a dangerous bottleneck. Some fans then faced tear gassing and intimidation from local authorities, as well as violence from gangs, with kick-off for the game being delayed by 30 minutes in response to the delays outside the ground.
Shockingly, Liverpool fans were initially blamed for the incident, with the French government refusing to take responsibility for the trauma suffered by the club's fans outside the Stade de France.
Thankfully, a recent independent report firmly laid the blame with the event's organisers for poor event management, and UEFA have stepped in to ensure that Liverpool fans who were wrongly denied entry receive the correct repayment:
We have taken into account a huge number of views expressed both publicly and privately and we believe we have devised a scheme that is comprehensive and fair.
We value the input from the Liverpool FC supporter organisations Spirit of Shankly (SOS) and Liverpool Disabled Supporters Association (LDSA) as well as the open and transparent dialogue throughout this period.
We recognise the negative experiences of those supporters on the day and with this scheme we will refund fans who had bought tickets and who were the most affected by the difficulties in accessing the stadium.
Dozens of Liverpool fans were either turned away from the stadium with genuine tickets, or decided against risking the potential danger of the situation, missing out on a game which saw ticket prices as high as £580.
The club are to receive full reimbursement for their ticket allocation for the final, and will redistribute these funds among the affected fans. The SOS and LDSA responded positively to the UEFA announcement - but said that it did not exonerate them from further repercussions:
We welcome today’s announcement from UEFA. This unprecedented move is the result of tireless work, alongside FSE (Football Supporters Europe) and Ian Byrne MP, to hold those responsible for the catastrophic events in Paris.
With a promise to reimburse supporters, UEFA have gone some way to acknowledging their part in the fiasco. But it does not excuse UEFA, exempt them from criticism or lessen the need for them to implement all of the recommendations made by the independent inquiry.
Liverpool would go on to lose last year's final 1-0 to Real Madrid, and the two sides were reunited when the last 16 draw was made for this season's competition. Ahead of the first leg at Anfield, the iconic Champions League anthem was met with resounding boos from both sets of fans as a response to the "catastrophic events" caused at the final last May.
The second leg will see Liverpool travel to Madrid on Wednesday week, 5-2 down from the first game.