1980s >> 1985 >> no-972-august-1985

Profit the goal

From the Report, published on 6 July, of the Special Commission set up by the Belgian Parliament to investigate the incidents that led to the deaths of 38 football supporters at the European Cup final at the Heysel Stadium on 29 May:

Further, the immediate cause of these incidents is to be found in the fact that English and Italian supporters were side by side in blocs X, Y and Z, which was impossible to foresee given that bloc Z was reserved for Belgians.


The Belgian Football Union and the UEFA seemed to have been motivated more by preoccupations of a lucrative and commercial nature than by their duty to ensure the safety of spectators.


Ticket sales, as it emerges from many statements and in particular that of Mr Roosens, were completely uncontrolled. A large number of tickets allowing entry to the Z zone (a neutral zone where under no circumstances should there have been Italian supporters) were sold to Italians.


The sale of tickets at the Heysel Stadium (where in theory only 5 tickets could be sold per person) was organised in such a way that anyone – including Italians — could without problem buy tickets for the Z bloc. This went against not only the UEFA directives but also against the measures decided before the match. Such a procedure necessarily led to a black market.

See also the article, ‘Putting the boot in’, from this same issue of the Socialist Standard.