Pogust Goodhead and Bingham Solicitors claim against UEFA has received support from famous Liverpool FC faces.
Former LFC player Jason McAteer’s wife Lucy and son Harry signed up to the legal action after they experienced violent and chaotic scenes outside the Stade de France in May.
UEFA claim background
The 2022 Champions League Final against Real Madrid was overshadowed in the run up to a delayed kick off when violence arose outside the stadium affecting thousands of attendees.
Many Liverpool FC supporters were robbed, crushed, injured, and repeatedly pepper sprayed and gassed, leaving physical and psychological scars for months to come.
Jason McAteer’s family support the UEFA claim
The Ireland and Liverpool legend McAteer was working for the club’s TV channel on the night and witnessed the chaos in the lead-up to the match.
He then learned that his wife and son had been caught up in violence as they left the ground to head to a ‘staff’ bus just outside.
The pair were robbed and physically attacked as they left the Stade de France, leaving Harry injured and them both shaken.
They have since joined the claim believing in the action to help hold UEFA to account.
Harry, 22, said: “You expect a level of safety when you go to football games. Especially ones that are used to being the centre of important matches on a regular basis. But it was pretty clear from when we first arrived that there were problems. It just seemed as if the officials and police that were there had in their heads that Liverpool fans can be a bit moody or rowdy and they acted as if that was the case against everyone arriving.
“But we were all just genuine Liverpool fans with tickets trying to get into the stadium to watch our team play.
“Afterwards, people have said it was a case of wrong place, wrong time, but I don’t think that’s right. We were in the right place, and for whatever reason, trouble has been brought to our doors. Our tickets advised against wearing football kits, so we were dressed quite smartly – not standing out as Liverpool fans, and yet the trouble still came to us.
“It was a shambles from the get-go, really. The trains were full or down, and so we had to get an Uber to the stadium. Then when we arrived, we went over to our gate, which wasn’t too bad – but then kids and people trying to get into other gates were running over, screaming that they had been pepper sprayed and their eyes were stinging.
“Women were getting their heads kicked in. Parents were dousing their kids’ faces with water. It was horrific – no one wants to see that, do they?
“It wasn’t nice to watch at all. Lucy had a watch stolen which holds great sentimental value to her – it was a wedding gift that she loved and has great memories for her.
“I know people who will now not go to a game again because of what they saw and experienced there. It does affect you. I know for myself I would be reluctant to go to any away match now. I haven’t been back to Anfield yet, but I think I would feel safer there than at an away game.
“It has been shocking since it all happened to hear of how many kids were affected. Dad’s been contacted by families affected and is a big advocate of the legal claim.
“For us, it’s not about the money or compensation. It is about making sure that this doesn’t happen again and that questions about how it did happen, are answered. As a family of Liverpool fans, it’s just something we feel so passionately about.”
The McAteers are not the only ones also keen for answers.
Nathan Morton, brother of Liverpool FC player Tyler Morton, has also joined to support the claim after being caught up in the terrifying scenes at the 2022 Champions League Final.
They, along with 2000 other Liverpool fans, have joined the group claim with group litigation specialists Pogust Goodhead and Liverpool firm Binghams.
Comment from Pogust Goodhead
Tony Winterburn, Partner at Pogust Goodhead, said: “Unfortunately, Harry and Lucy’s experience outside the Stade de France is not unique. We have been gathering clients’ experiences and, although well documented at the time, they are still shocking to hear in a legal context.
“The fans were deprived of a life-long memory and have instead been left with psychological and physical scars which just should not have happened.
“They were entitled to attend this momentous occasion and expect a level of care and security while watching their team play. Instead, they were met with violence, ill treatment and extremely traumatic scenes.
“This claim isn’t just about getting compensation for those affected, but it is also vital they, and we, understand why this happened, and it is prevented from occurring again.”