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Small ceremony marks 35 years since Heysel disaster

Brussels (AFP) – A short ceremony was held in Brussels on Friday to mark the 35-year anniversary of the Heysel Stadium disaster, with a small number of people attending due to social-distancing measures.

The tribute was held in front of the stadium, now called the King Baudouin Stadium, with Brussels mayor Philippe Close and the UK and Italian ambassadors present.

Flowers were placed in front of the plaque which bears the names of the 39 people, mostly Italians, who died following a riot before the 1985 European Cup final between Liverpool and Juventus.

“It is important not to forget these victims. This tragic event eradicated hooliganism in stadiums,” said Close.

Around 600 people were also seriously injured after a stampede by Liverpool supporters caused Juventus fans to be crushed against a collapsing wall.

The game went ahead, with Juventus winning 1-0.

English clubs were banned indefinitely from European competitions by UEFA in the wake of the incident, returning in the 1990-91 season, with Liverpool serving an extra one-year suspension.

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