Read all 21 recommendations from the UEFA Independent Panel Report
As a result of its eight-month investigation, the UEFA Independent Panel has made the following 21 recommendations.
- Where failures are identified, UEFA must not just move on, but must exercise due diligence to ensure corrective action is taken where required, in advance of future events. This should be clearly documented, and a system instituted to ensure it is included in the consideration of future bids, and the planning of future events. To ensure transparency, by the 8th May 2023, UEFA should post on its website an action plan containing a summary of action taken with respect to each of the recommendations made in this report. It should highlight matters outstanding and provide reasoning why any recommendations have not been adopted. The published action plan should be regularly updated until all recommendations have been subject to remedial action or considered and rejected with reasoning.
- UEFA should therefore provide proactive and demonstrable support to the stakeholders to facilitate all supporters who wish to travel to the host city for a UCL final. Accordingly, supporters arriving in the host city without access to match tickets should never be understood or treated as inherently a public order problem but facilitated as tourists who are travelling to be a part of the festival the authorities are seeking to promote.
- Safety, security, and service oversight must be recognised by UEFA, and UEFA Events SA, as an integrated but distinct component of UCLF operations, so that such issues always remain the primary responsibility of the UEFA S&S Unit.
- UEFA S&S Unit develop its capacity to ensure that mobility and access arrangements are as safe and secure as possible for supporters with any disabilities or special needs, and that service to them is optimised. This should include fuller and more proactive engagement with disabled supporter organisations and the respective clubs to determine needs and requirements, as part of UEFA’s fan dialogue policy. Furthermore, UEFA should proactively monitor all relevant service provisions for disabled supporters, and indeed other vulnerable supporters including children and the elderly, during the planning and delivery phases.
- Where relevant, UEFA should require as a term of the contract with the host stadium, that the appropriate stadium safety team or equivalent be directly and more fully involved in planning. This should relate to mobility issues beyond the stadium itself and include routing, the last kilometre, access points, local intelligence relating to crime, topography, traffic management and parking.
- A requirement for UCLF host stadiums to have well managed security perimeters, welcome services & crowd guidance and orientation. This should be integrated with efficient channelling and proper stewarding deployment avoiding congestions at turnstiles. More rigorous procedures must be developed to calculate flow through these access points and such calculations must be stress tested before the event.
- UEFA should make it a formal requirement of the bidding process that the police will commit to compliance with the Convention on Safety and Security. This should include a commitment to provide a summary of the policing operational plan to the S&S Unit in good time prior to MD.
- Where it is not already exercised, the UEFA S&S Unit should proactively identify and engage Police Commanders by supporting access to relevant expertise and inviting them to be active observers of police operations of UCL quarter and semi-finals to gain experience, particularly of the supporter profile of potential finalist clubs.
- The Panel recommends that UEFA move as rapidly as possible to digital ticketing at future UCLFs. UEFA should ensure host venues are fully capable of supporting this, from the bidding process onward.
- UEFA should optimise its communications and messaging toward supporters, using as many platforms as possible, regarding event facilities, mobility, routing and access arrangements. Above all else it should embed the involvement of supporter organisations and finalist club stewards in its communication strategy, to effectively spread information and urgent messages. UEFA should also consider the use of large screens at key entry points and monitor and ensure the integrity of event relevant signage.
- The role of the Supporter Liaison Officer should be made clear, including involvement in security planning and supporting information dialogue between event organisers and supporters. As part of their preparations for a UCLF, clubs should ensure their SLOs play an active role in designing, clarifying, and implementing communication to and from their supporters regarding the mobility concept and participate in preparatory visits as well as security and organisational meetings.
- Football Supporters Europe and its affiliated supporter organisations need to be involved as meaningful stakeholders throughout the planning process and their representatives need to act on the day of the UCLF as integrated observers. They should also be involved in post-match analysis. Protocols for achieving this should be laid out in writing.
- UEFA should require the host Federation to deploy customer service stewards, not only to key parts of the transport network, but also across the last kilometre routes. These stewards – or marshals – should be trained and briefed to provide information and guidance to supporters (in their own language), but also to provide situation reports as necessary, and as problems arise, to the control rooms. The panel suggests finalists’ club stewards are also deployed in such roles, as mandated by UEFA S&S Regulations.
- Medical and first aid personnel should be always visible and accessible, including inside the ASP, at the gates, and in the stadium concourse.
- In the case of UCLF22 post-event analysis by key stakeholders, including UEFA and other Governmental authorities, was inaccurate by incorrectly attributing blame to ticketless supporters. Therefore, it is evident that UEFA’s processes for post-hoc analysis should be more analytically and objectively robust. To achieve this, the panel recommends that UEFA draw in relevant external operational, academic, and supporter-based expertise. Specifically, where failures with policing are identified, UEFA should seek dialogue with Government authorities and assistance through the compliance mechanisms of the CoE regarding the application of the Convention. Ultimately, UEFA should make clear to State authorities that it will hold its events elsewhere if issues of non-compliance persist.
- Given the extent of non-compliance with the Saint-Denis Convention evidenced in this report, the Panel respectfully recommends that the CoE Monitoring Committee reviews how compliance with the Convention can be better monitored and its obligations more comprehensively enforced.
- The Panel encourages French Government authorities to follow the recommendations of the 2015 CoE Monitoring Committee and the DIGES in terms of management and oversight of major sporting events at an inter-ministerial level.
- The Panel respectfully recommends that the Ministries of Interior and Sport institute their own review of the model used for the policing of sporting events. This should involve supporters’ representatives, external experts and academics to ensure transparency and objectivity. This could take place under the auspices of the National Committee on Supporters. The Panel noted its significant concerns about the deployment of tear gas and pepper spray on the one hand, and the absence of any discernible engagement or dialogue with supporters on the other. In particular, the guarantees sought should include an assurance that the policing authorities will operate a supporter engagement model, and that the deployment of riot police and the use of weaponry including tear gas and pepper spray, will only ever be used proportionately in circumstances where ECHR Article 2 rights are at issue.
- The panel recommends that French authorities review the framework relating to the retention and provision of footage and other material, for the purposes of investigations which are likely to improve security and public safety. The Panel further recommends that this is a matter which should be addressed by UEFA in its requirements of host States.
- In the UEFA Bid Requirements document for UCLF bidders are asked to confirm they will adhere to the Council of Europe Convention on an Integrated Safety, Security and Service Approach at Football Matches and Other Sports Events (Council of Europe Treaty Series - No. 218). We recommend this document should also obligate stakeholders to undertake robust scrutiny to ensure such compliance. In the case of UCLF22 no bidding process took place and therefore no such confirmation was received. In future, it is recommended that, in addition to receiving confirmation from stakeholders, there is also scrutiny by UEFA S&S unit to ensure that compliance is being achieved during the planning process. To facilitate this, we recommend that for UCLFs, Government provides a nominated State representative to take part in the planning processes with a specific remit of ensuring interoperability of the policing and other national and local authorities. In effect this representative would act as single point of contact (SPOC) for UEFA S&S and other partners.
- Finally, the panel has focused on UCLF22, but evidence suggests that similar problems, particularly regarding policing and access for disabled supporters, are regularly experienced, though to a lesser scale, by supporters attending other UEFA governed fixtures. As per Recommendation 15, we recommend that UEFA and the CoE Monitoring Committee looks closely at their capacity to apply some of the above recommendations more generically to avoid similar dangers developing beyond the remit of the UCLF alone.