French football

May 1985, the horror of the stadium – FRENCH FOOTBALL

by: Adam Smith


Heysel drama: May 1985, the horror of the stadium
On May 29, 1985, 39 supporters were killed at Heysel Stadium in Belgium. Back in pictures of one of the greatest tragedies in the history of football.

The Heysel drama happened on May 29, 1985, in Brussels, on the occasion of the final of the European Cup for Champions Club between FC Liverpool and Juventus Torino. That day, the excess of the English hooligans, the run-down state of the stadium and the disorganization of the Belgian security service caused 39 deaths and more than 450 injuries, most Italian, crushed or trampled on the ground or fences. Freezing characters, but also shocking pictures (a Swiss television team filmed the events live) that make this tragedy one of the most traumatic in football history.

This drama will have highlighted the danger of English hooligans. Following the October 1988 trial, fourteen "supporters" of Liverpool will be sentenced to 18 months in prison, many of those charged will escape sentencing for lack of hard evidence and two security guards will be sentenced to suspended jail. The disaster will also have forced football officials to take drastic measures to improve stadium safety : duty to provide seats, ban for all English clubs to participate in a European Cup for five years, Liverpool deprived of European competitions for 10 years … Safety rules that will be further strengthened in subsequent years after the Hillsborough and Furiani cats.