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Heysel Stadium disaster

From Academic Kids

The Heysel Stadium disaster took place at the 1985 football European Cup final at the Heysel Stadium in Brussels, Belgium.

Contents

Events

There has never been an official inquiry into the causes of the disaster, but the main events are well established.

On May 29, 1985, Liverpool played Juventus in the European Cup final. The Belgian authorities had allocated a section of the ground to neutral fans. This was an idea opposed by Liverpool and Juventus, as it would easily provide an arena for fans of both clubs to obtain tickets from ticket and travel agencies or from ticket touts outside the ground and thus evade measures designed to segregate the fans of both clubs.

A flimsy wire fence had been erected to separate the Liverpool fans from the neutral area. A contingent of Liverpool fans began to stampede towards the Juventus fans—some Liverpool fans alleged that this was a response to the act of throwing rocks and other missiles by Juventus fans—leading to the collapse of a retaining wall. In the panic that ensued many people were trampled or crushed, resulting in the death of 39 people (32 Italians, 4 Belgians, two Frenchmen and an Irishman).

Despite the scale of the disaster, it was felt that abandoning the game risked inciting further trouble, and the match eventually kicked off. Juventus won 1-0 with a controversial penalty scored by Michel Platini—video replays suggesting that the foul giving rise to the penalty was outside the box.

The hostility that gave rise to the disaster had its root cause in the events of the 1984 final, when Liverpool had played AS Roma in Rome. The English club had won the match, but their supporters were attacked afterwards by violent Italian ultra hooligans. This experience may have led various English hooligan firms to set aside their differences for the chance to collectively settle the score with another Italian club at the Heysel stadium match.

Aftermath

As a direct result of this event, The Football League banned Liverpool from participating in European competitions indefinitely, and all other English clubs for five years [1] (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/low/uk/768142.stm) - a move which UEFA ratified (many believe that The Football League acted first to avoid a heavier punishment from UEFA). The length of Liverpool's ban was eventually set at ten years, though this was later reduced to six. The Heysel stadium itself has since been completely rebuilt, and is now called the King Baudouin Stadium.

Juventus and Liverpool were drawn together in the quarterfinals of the 2005 Champions League, in the 20th anniversary year of the tragedy. This was the first time the clubs met in a match since Heysel. Liverpool won the first leg of the encounter at home 2-1 with goals by Sami Hyypi and Luis Garcia. The second leg, played in Turin, ended goalless, sending Liverpool through to the semifinals with a 2-1 aggregate victory. By the end of the match, Juventus fans turned their anger towards their team in the form of chants and boos.

Although many measures were taken to stop violence and anti-social behaviour during the 2005 matches, including public expressions of forgiveness and reconcilliation between major figures in the two clubs, both matches were marred with problems. Juventus supporters turned their backs on a banner of forgiveness and friendship brought into Anfield Stadium before the first leg; just hours before the second leg, a Liverpool supporter was assaulted in a bar in Turin by a gang of Juventus supporters; and there was some minor throwing of missiles by a small number of fans from both clubs minutes before kick-off of the second leg.

See also

External link

fr:Drame du Heysel he:אסון הייזל it:Strage dell'Heysel ja:ヘイゼルの悲劇 nl:Heizeldrama th:โศกนาฏกรรมเฮย์เซล

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