1985: Heysel Stadium disaster shocks world

1985: The Heysel Stadium disaster will haunt all those who saw it for the rest of their days. The match that was billed as a feast of football, turned into a living nightmare.

It occurred when mostly Juventus fans escaping from a breach by Liverpool fans were pressed against a collapsing wall in the Heysel Stadium in Brussels, Belgium, before the start of the 1985 European Cup Final between the Italian and English clubs. 39 people—mostly Italians and Juventus fans—were killed and 600 were injured in the confrontation.

Approximately an hour before the Juventus-Liverpool final was due to kick off, Liverpool supporters charged at Juventus fans and breached a fence that was separating them from a “neutral area”. The cause of the rampage is disputed: many accounts, including Liverpool’s official website, attribute blame to the Italian fans for sparking the violence, but this claim is contested by other eye-witnesses and has been criticized for being unsubstantiated.

The tragedy resulted in all English football clubs being placed under an indefinite ban by UEFA from all European competitions.