Champions League: the controversy swells after the incidents around the Stade de France

Champions League: the controversy swells after the incidents around the Stade de France

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Still scalded by the Champions League final against Real Madrid (0-1) in Saint-Denis, the president of the Liverpool club Tom Werner wrote his indignation to the French Minister of Sports Amélie Oudéa-Castera.

In question, the remarks on Monday by Ms. Oudéa-Castera and the Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin who repeated what they have been saying since Saturday evening: British supporters are largely responsible for the incidents, with “massive, industrial fraud and organized counterfeit banknotes”.

The sports minister further said that Liverpool “have left their supporters in the wild”.

These charges bring back to Liverpool supporters the horrible memories of the Hillsborough disaster which left 97 dead in 1989 in a mob for which Reds fans had long been held responsible before the bad decisions of the police. are not recognised.

“Your comments are irresponsible, unprofessional and totally disrespectful,” Tom Werner wrote in his letter to Amélie Oudéa-Castera, a copy of which was obtained by the Liverpool Echo daily. “On behalf of all the fans who went through this nightmare, I ask for an apology from you,” he added.

At midday, the Minister of Sports opened the door to the beginning of a mea culpa: “We have Liverpool supporters who were completely in order, whose evening was either ruined or some did not been able to attend this match, and there we clearly owe them an apology.

Disputed figures

However, the figures put forward by the French government remain highly criticized, in England as in France.

According to Gérald Darmanin, “30,000 to 40,000 English supporters found themselves at the Stade de France, either without a ticket or with falsified tickets”.

This situation has, according to the authorities, led near the Stade de France to massive congestion, overflows and an intervention by the police, which did not cause any serious injuries.

For the time being, the French Football Federation and UEFA have estimated the number of “counterfeit tickets scanned” at “2,800” on Saturday, sources familiar with the matter told AFP on Tuesday, confirming information from RMC Sports.

But among these 2,800 counterfeit tickets may include real tickets that have been incorrectly activated, according to Pierre Barthélémy, lawyer for groups of French supporters present at the stadium on Saturday. “There were breakdowns, computer bugs at the gates which caused some real banknotes to be scanned as fakes,” he told AFP.

At the end of the day on Tuesday, the FFF also defended the reinforced system put in place around the stadium on Saturday. The body also took over the assessment of the executive, evoking 35,000 people who went to the Stade de France without tickets or with fake tickets.

“Thirty to 40,000 counterfeit tickets, that seems very, very big to me”, however estimated the former deputy Generation (s) Regis Juanico, specialist in sports issues.

On RTL, the mayor of the metropolis of Liverpool Steve Rotheram, himself present – and victim of pickpockets – on Saturday at the Stade de France, also considered “grotesque” the figures put forward by the French authorities, believing that they were trying to ” To divert attention “.

Wednesday at 5:00 p.m., Gérald Darmanin and Amélie Oudéa-Castera are expected for a hearing in the Senate on these issues.

The intelligence services had for their part alerted the authorities before this final: dated May 25, a note from the National Division for the Fight against Hooliganism (DNLH) written in connection with the intelligence services, of which AFP was aware , reported “about 50,000 English supporters present in the French capital (who) will not be ticket holders”.

Next match Friday at the Stade de France

On the judicial level, three men, foreigners in an irregular situation and with precarious backgrounds, were sentenced on Tuesday in immediate appearance to sentences ranging from six months in prison suspended to ten months in prison for thefts committed on supporters around the Stade de France.

With the approach of the legislative elections (June 12 and 19), the affair took a highly political turn, in particular on France’s ability to organize major sporting events one year from the 2023 Rugby World Cup and two years from the Games. Olympics in Paris.

Deputy LR Eric Ciotti thus demanded the creation in the National Assembly of a commission of inquiry into the incidents.

All eyes are now on the next match at the Stade de France, France-Denmark in the League of Nations on Friday (8:45 p.m.), a priori sold out.

“Everyone is shocked by the images we have seen. And it must not happen again, ”we commented to Matignon before this meeting. “Obviously this should not create suspicion about France’s ability to organize major sporting events”.

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