French Interior Minister apologizes for Champions League chaos

12 Jul 2022 | 08:42 | Football

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin on Tuesday issued a partial apology for the chaos at the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool in Paris last month, asserting fake tickets and “violations”. law” is the main reason. “Things should be better managed in the Stade de France (stadium)? The answer is yes. Am I partially responsible? The answer is yes,” Darmanin told RTL radio. “Of course, I am willing to apologize to everyone who has suffered from this bad management of the event,” he added.

After scenes of fans crammed into tight spaces and being ripped apart by police sparked outrage across Europe, Darmanin fueled the fire by blaming supporters with fake tickets for causing the disruption.

UEFA events director Martin Kallen last week told French senators investigating the fiasco that the number of fake tickets by the football body was much lower than the tens of thousands that the French authorities had received. declare.

“We don’t believe that’s the number mentioned in France,” he said, adding that 2,600 fake tickets had been identified at the turnstiles – compared with 30,000 to 40,000 people with fake tickets and no tickets. suggested by Darmanin.

“It’s the question of fake tickets … that has created the difficulties we all know about” large crowds of fans crammed into tunnels or locked gates outside, Darmanin insisted on Tuesday. Three.

He added that “if something goes wrong at the Stade de France, it’s the fight against delinquency”, saying he has ordered security around the venue and three major matches since that passed without incident.

While some fans said they were victims of crimes committed by youth groups before and after the game, there were also complaints about the police’s treatment of fans.

Disabled Liverpool fans last week told the Senate about how officers pepper sprayed people in wheelchairs.

British supporters reacted with particular fury to Darmanin’s defense of the French police action.

The mayor of Liverpool, Steve Rotheram, told AFP earlier this month: “People’s memories will be forever tarnished by the lack of organization and heavy-handed policy, and of course the way the authorities try to dump the blame. apologize and make a scapegoat for the Liverpool fans for their incompetence,” Liverpool mayor Steve Rotheram told AFP earlier this month.

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CCTV footage from around the stadium has also been deleted despite the Senate investigation.

A government report published earlier this month said a “string of failures” by the French authorities had caused “heavy damage” to the country’s image as it prepared to host the World Cup. Olympic Games in 2024.

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