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Platini puts FIFA politics aside to remember Heysel deaths

29 May 2015, 16:44

Zurich - Michel Platini set FIFA politics aside for a while on Friday, the 30th anniversary of the Heysel Stadium disaster when 39 mostly Italian fans lost their lives at the 1985 European Cup final.

Platini, now president of European soccer's governing body UEFA and sitting at the top table as a vice-president at FIFA's Congress, scored the winning goal from a penalty that night in Brussels where Juventus beat Liverpool 1-0.

Also read: Blatter questions timing of FIFA arrests

The match went ahead despite the deaths before the game at the dilapidated stadium where Liverpool fans caused the tragedy by charging at the Juventus supporters before kickoff, causing a wall to collapse and many fans to fall and suffocate.

Platini, who has been campaigning against the re-election of FIFA president Sepp Blatter at the congress, reflected on the past before Friday's vote was due to take place.

"Thirty years ago, I played in a European Champion Clubs' Cup final at the Heysel stadium in Brussels. And I continue to play in that final.

"It hasn't left me, just like it hasn't left anyone else who was there that night, and remains with all those who lost a loved one, for whom everything changed in a few terrible minutes.

"Thirty years later, I am the president of UEFA, the organisation that organised this match, and I am working every day with all my colleagues and friends at the national associations, leagues and clubs to ensure that we will never again experience the horror of such a night.

"We have been working unceasingly for the last 30 years to guarantee safety and security at sporting venues across Europe."

Special mention was made of the disaster when the FIFA Congress began. Delegates stood in silence to remember the victims and other football personalities who have died in the last year.

Platini added: "As the 30th anniversary of that fateful night approaches, my thoughts are with the 39 people who lost their lives, and, of course, with their friends and families.

"I can only express my deepest sympathy and reiterate that I am still doing everything in my power to prevent such a tragedy from happening again."

- Reuters


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