Representatives of UEFA and supporters answered questions from senators three weeks after the final.
Between eloquent figures and chilling testimonies, the hearings before the Senate continued on Tuesday. Three weeks after the security disaster, but also in terms of image, of the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool, on May 28, at the Stade de France, representatives of UEFA, supporters and the mayor of Saint-Denis, Mathieu Hanotin, were invited to speak before the commission of inquiry of the upper chamber. The opportunity for Martin Kallen, managing director of UEFA Events SA, to sweep away the figures put forward by the Minister of the Interior since the start of the affair, and which he repeated on 1er June during his hearing by the senators.
If he had recognized that “Things could have been better organized”Gérald Darmanin had indeed mentioned “30,000 to 40,000 English supporters (who) found themselves at the Stade de France, without a ticket or with falsified tickets”. He also denounced a “massive, industrial and organized fraud of counterfeit banknotes”the “root evil” incidents. For Martin Kallen, however, there were only 26,000 people without tickets around the stadium, although he agrees that “the number of counterfeit tickets in Paris was higher than in other Champions League finals”. How many ? “2,600 tickets that went through the turnstile were fake. Many have never made it this far. We can only say that there have been several thousand », he assures, adding that 2,700 valid ticket holders have never been able to return. According to him, the “causes are multiple: transport strike, bad reactions from stewards and law enforcement, presence of criminals, extremely large flow in front of the stadium, without tickets or with counterfeit tickets “.
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“Lack of security”
Causes which are also the subject of an independent investigation, sponsored by UEFA and directed by the former Portuguese Minister of Sports Tiago Brandao Rodrigues. The conclusions are expected in September. Remember that UEFA saw in France ” the perfect place “ to relocate this final, initially scheduled for Saint Petersburg… A fantasy far removed from what reports Ted Morris, president of the Liverpool Disabled Supporters Association, who relays terrifying testimonials from fans “traumatized”. “Disabled supporters were treated like animals”he swears, accusing Gérald Darmanin, “shame of the government” French, to have “lied”. He “hope” that the person concerned “will have the decency to resign”.
denouncing “numbers that do not hold up” as well as the prejudices about English fans of a “police remained in the 1980s”Joe Blott, representative of Liverpool supporters, wants to point out that the terrorists had “easily penetrated” in the security perimeter around the Stade de France during the November 2015 attacks. “The behavior of Liverpool supporters has been exemplary”, he says again, echoing the words of François-Noël Buffet, president of the Senate law commission, contradicting the thesis of Gérald Darmanin. Same story with Emilio Dumas, representing Madrid fans.
He also regretted the “lack of security”speaking of “young locals who watched the people of Madrid”of “young girls assaulted”. And to add: “I’m not going to recommend my friends to come to watch the Rugby World Cup (2023) or the Olympics (2024). My team won, but I have more bad memories than good ones. » Affirming for his part that it will be necessary, in the future, to guard against having “a security-only vision” and “Security must be at the service of the event, not the other way around”Mathieu Hanotin, the mayor of Saint-Denis, judges that the police force was not “enough to handle a massive influx of common criminals”. Anticipation problem. A flaw, not the only one.
SEE ALSO – Gérald Darmanin accuses Liverpool supporters of being responsible for the fiasco at the Stade de France