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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 June 2007, 18:17 GMT 19:17 UK
Uefa backtracks on Liverpool fans
Uefa president Michel Platini
Platini does not want a repeat of the confusion from Athens
Uefa president Michael Platini has denied that Liverpool fans are the worst-behaved in Europe.

Uefa spokesman William Gaillard made the claim after trouble at the Champions League final, but Platini has now backtracked on those remarks.

"No they are not the worst behaved in Europe," said Platini. "It's official, they are not the worst behaved."

Platini was speaking after a meeting with Sports minister Richard Caborn about the problems in Athens.

Platini wants to make sure we don't have a repeat of events in Athens

Sports minister Richard Caborn

The Frenchman added: "This is an old story. We know about this, it is just that more English fans follow their clubs than those from other countries.

"It is not as if one set of fans are good or one set bad. This is not the question in the end. We cannot go around saying that."

Uefa says it will use Caborn's suggestions to try to avoid a repeat of the problems at the final between Liverpool and AC Milan.

Caborn met Platini to receive a report on the problems caused by ticketless Reds fans at the Olympic Stadium.

Platini approved of Caborn's idea for a working party to be set up by Uefa to find suitable venues for future finals.

Caborn said: "It was a very useful and constructive meeting."

Platini's report outlined 25 incidents involving Liverpool away from home in Europe since 2003.

Before meeting Platini in Brussels, Caborn had appealed for Uefa to stop blaming Reds fans for the ticket problems which had dogged the final in Athens.

606: DEBATE

Caborn said: "Platini wants to make sure we don't have a repeat of events in Athens. We want to learn from the past and make sure we can have safe grounds for supporters.

"I suggested they set up a working party, which was well-received by Platini, and I have offered the expertise of the Football Licensing Authority who are respected on a worldwide basis.

"They'll be looking at major European finals and I hope they can start setting some standards for clubs entering the competitions that they have to meet certain criteria."

Liverpool co-owner Tom Hicks had reacted angrily to Gaillard's condemnation of fans' behaviour.

He said: "The guy from Uefa who said that doesn't know what he's talking about.

"Uefa did not handle this right at all. To give 17,000 tickets to the two teams, particularly knowing Liverpool are going to bring 40,000 fans, is insane.

"It's a classic case of a bureaucrat trying to take the pressure off himself. They didn't handle it right, they didn't have proper ticketing procedures and unfortunately there were counterfeit tickets.

"There were fans who paid their hard-earned money to get their tickets and they get to the stadium and are told there is no more room."

Meanwhile, Steven Gerrard has laid the blame at Uefa's door, despite fierce criticism of Liverpool supporters who got into the stadium in Athens for their 2-1 defeat without tickets.

Maybe a minority of Liverpool fans have let themselves down

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard

Gerrard, however, claims his friends and family who went to the final all found the organisation lacking - and even the club's hotel facilities laid on by Uefa were not good enough.

"It upsets me because we've travelled everywhere together for the six or seven years I've been in the first team," he said.

"From what I've seen their behaviour has been fantastic. So it surprises me to hear that.

"I had friends and family at the final. Their opinion was that the organisation wasn't good enough.

"I'm sure when it all gets broken down they will conclude that the organisation wasn't good enough and maybe a minority of Liverpool fans have let themselves down.

"But as far as I'm concerned the European Cup final has got to be in a bigger stadium with better organisation.

"Our set-up wasn't good enough either. Our hotel facilities weren't good enough."

SEE ALSO
Caborn and Parry hit back at Uefa
04 Jun 07 |  Liverpool
Uefa blames Reds fans for chaos
24 May 07 |  Liverpool
Liverpool tickets Q&A
24 May 07 |  Liverpool
AC Milan 2-1 Liverpool
23 May 07 |  Europe


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