Spirit of Shankly met with Merseyside Police yesterday, 21 May, to discuss arrangements for the Champions League final in Kyiv on Saturday. Here is a summary of the meeting.
Ukrainian authorities will have 8,000 police officers on duty. They are experienced in holding big matches, many have specific training and language skills, having co-hosted the Euro 2012 championship. They are confident of providing a safe environment.
Representatives from Merseyside Police will be in Kyiv from Thursday and will feed back any relevant information to SOS. Their main concerns surround cyber safety, bank and credit cards, and money. They stress visitors should take care using ATMs, be wary of parting with cards even for a short time and guard the use of smart phones with personal data, and public WiFi.
There will be free buses from Boryspil airport to Schevchenko Square (allocated to Liverpool supporters). This isn’t an open area but wooded and dotted with cafes, and food stalls. Roads off the Square have many bars and restaurants.
There will also be free buses from the Square to the Olimpiyskiy Stadium. Liverpool fans will enter through 32 turnstiles – an open area with stands selling merchandise and refreshments – to allocated blocks. There will be no alcohol on sale.
It is unclear as yet how the blocks will work – whether there is freedom of movement between them or not. Fans are advised to arrive as early as possible.
There will be no ticket or ID checks, but fans must carry their passport at all times.
Banners must be pre-authorised and there are likely to be checks. Stan Tickle at LFC has been coordinating approval by UEFA, but be aware communication breakdown can happen.
Between 30 to 50 LFC stewards in situ, and around six Merseyside Police officers – the latter wearing blue bibs for easy identification.
Buses will run from the stadium to Schevchenko Square after the game and from there to Boryspil Airport until 5am – be aware this could change.
Current indications are that the local Police are relaxed about the fixture and while we all retain responsibility for own behaviour hopefully the policing and organisation will meet all of our expectations.
SOS will update our members and supporters where possible of any changes so we can all enjoy the occasion.