What Was the Heysel Stadium Disaster?

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  • Written By: L. S. Wynn
  • Edited By: L. S. Wynn
  • Last Modified Date: 04 September 2019
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The Heysel Stadium disaster was an event that took place at the 1985 football European Cup final at the Heysel Stadium in Brussels, Belgium.

On 29 May 1985, Liverpool played Juventus in the European Cup final. In a widely criticized move, 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 who obtained tickets from Belgian ticket touts outside the ground to clash.

A flimsy wire fence had been erected to segregate the fans. After a rain of missiles from the Italian fans inside the neutral area fell upon the Liverpool fans, the Liverpool fans charged at and breached the fence. In an attempt to retreat from the advancing English fans, the Juventus fans ran to the far end of the Western End, where a concrete wall blocked their retreat. The huge load and pressure that resulted from the sheer numbers of people gathered proved too much for the wall and eventually it gave way, falling directly upon the trapped Italian fans. 39 people (1 Belgian and 38 Italian) lost their lives.


Juventus later won the match 1-0.

As a direct result of this event, The Football Association banned English clubs from participating in UEFA competitions for six years. Some believe it was a move to avoid a heavier penalty from UEFA.


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