San Francisco Chronicle

Panel blames UEFA for endangerin­g fans at final in Paris


UEFA-appointed investigat­ors have held European soccer’s ruling body mostly responsibl­e for chaotic security failures at the 2022 Champions League final in Paris that put the lives of Liverpool and Real Madrid fans at risk.

“The panel has concluded that UEFA, as event owner, bears primary responsibi­lity for failures which almost led to disaster,” the report said.

Many fans were fired on with tear gas by police before the game, which was delayed by nearly 40 minutes. After Madrid’s 1-0 win, dozens were robbed leaving the stadium.

UEFA statements during the chaos and after the game blamed Liverpool fans for arriving at the stadium late and using fake tickets to try to gain entry — wrongly blamed on both counts, the report said.

An apology to Liverpool supporters for “the experience­s of many of them” and the unjust blaming was made Monday by UEFA general secretary Theodore Theodoridi­s.

• Cody Gakpo finally got off the mark as Liverpool beat Everton 2-0 in the 242nd Merseyside derby. The Holland forward tapped in from close range in the 49th minute after Mo Salah had opened the scoring in the first half to set up Liverpool’s first win in the Premier League this


Gakpo, a $45 million signing from PSV Eindhoven last month, had failed to score in his previous six appearance­s for his new club.

The loss leaves Everton in the relegation zone, one point behind 17th-placed Leeds. Liverpool moved up to ninth, but is still nine points off a Champions League-qualifying top four spot. Olympics: Considerin­g the dearth of candidates to stage the Winter Games amid spiralling venue costs, the IOC might have to resort to lining up a list of fixed, rotating hosts.

A highly theoretica­l list could include Salt Lake City and Vancouver in North America, Pyeongchan­g in Asia and places like Switzerlan­d, Italy and Scandinavi­a in Europe.

“I know that’s been discussed,” said retired Olympic skiing champion Lindsey Vonn, who is on the committee for Salt Lake City’s 2030 or 2034 bid. “How early that will happen, I don’t know, but I don’t think it would happen before 2034.” Obituaries: Conrad Dobler, one of the NFL’s top offensive linemen with the St. Louis Cardinals

in the 1970s, has died. He was 72. No cause of death was given. Dobler earned three consecutiv­e Pro Bowl appearance­s (1975-77). He played for the Cardinals from 1972 through ’77 before playing two seasons with New Orleans and Buffalo.

• Ted Lerner, the billionair­e real-estate developer whose family bought the Washington Nationals in 2006, has died, the team announced Monday. He was 97. A Nationals spokespers­on said Lerner died Sunday of complicati­ons from pneumonia at his home in Chevy Chase, Md. Lerner’s group purchased the Nationals from Major League Baseball in 2006 for $450 million after the team was moved to the U.S. capital from Montreal.

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