The French Government has given this Monday explanations about the organizational disaster in the Champions League final that faced Real Madrid and Liverpool last Saturday. He has justified that the chaos was caused by “a massive and industrial fraud of false tickets” by the fans of the English team and they assure that the actions of the security forces prevented “a drama” inside the stadium. “The device has made it possible to avoid deaths and injuries inside the stadium,” said the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, who appeared together with the Minister of Sports, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, after meeting with the organization and UEFA this Monday for the morning to clarify what happened.
Paris continues to blame Saturday’s incidents on fans of the British team. Darmanin has insisted that between 30,000 and 40,000 people attended the stadium on Saturday without tickets or with a false one. He stressed that the problems did not occur with the tickets sold to Real Madrid fans, nor in the Madridista stands, since the fans arrived much earlier: “I think it is an important point to highlight”, said the minister, who explained that the “disorganization of the arrival of the British at the stadium, which has complicated the situation”.
On Saturday there was a strike on the RER in Paris, the commuter network that leads to Stade de France. The minister has recognized that, as a consequence, there was a greater flow than usual, which also favored the collapse at the last minute at the gates of the stadium. “As there were more people than normal, the police prefecture made the decision to remove the pre-filtering cord” around the stadium that serves to facilitate access.
These “are managed by the organizers, not the forces of order”, but it failed because there were between 30,000 and 40,000 people with fraudulent tickets. Before this first string there was already 70% of fans with invalid tickets.
The Liverpool fans’ fan zone was further away from the stadium than Real Madrid’s, which caused the former to arrive later, adding to the chaos. At nine o’clock, when the game should have started, there were 97% of Madrid fans already in the stands, compared to 50% of those from Liverpool.
In addition, as explained by the French Sports Minister, a large part of the tickets were not electronic, but were printed, “especially those of British fans, which contributes to and facilitates massive fraud.”
With regard to the actions of the security forces, who used tear gas and charged against part of the fans, the Minister of the Interior has shown his support for the police prefecture, which “has had to make difficult decisions” to prevent “the there would be dead in the stadium”. Fifty people have been questioned and there were 29 arrests, “half were British,” said Darmanin, who recalled that this hobby has already caused problems on other occasions.
The Bobigny park, which covers the Saint Denis area, where the stadium is located, has informed Agence France Presse of dozens of arrests, “a large part of minors” and some complaints associated with robberies and acts of violence, but “none related to the false sale of tickets,” according to the agency.
Amélie Oudéa-Castéra has explained that UEFA will open an investigation to determine what happened and the French authorities will also open another internal one. She has said that a working group will also be created to improve the devices, both in transport and in access, for parties and risk events. The minister has also stressed the fact that, despite everything, the match could take place, and there were no incidents inside the stadium.
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