French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin defiantly insisted that ticket scams and the behavior of Liverpool fans were to blame for the chaos.
French ministers have blamed Liverpool fans for the chaos of the Champions League final in Paris to ‘cover up’ the real causes, a government source has claimed.
Authorities defended police for indiscriminately firing tear gas and pepper spray at England fans and claimed ‘massive’ ticket fraud was responsible for the chaotic scenes that marred the Champions League final Saturday against Real Madrid in Paris.
The French Football Federation (FFF) issued a statement on Tuesday alleging that 35,000 people without tickets or with fake tickets descended on the Stade de France for the final.
The country’s government faced a barrage of criticism over the policing of the match, which saw thousands of Liverpool fans with tickets struggling to enter the Stade de France.
After a crisis meeting at the Sports Ministry on Monday, French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin defiantly insisted that ticket scams and the behavior of Liverpool supporters were to blame.
But a source at the Interior Ministry has now told Parisian investigative outlet Mediapart that the complaint against the counterfeit notes was “a advertisement intended to attempt to conceal.
The official added: “Accusing the English supporters is simply absurd. The Paris police headquarters should have admitted their mistakes.
But instead Paris police chief Didier Lallement fabricated a figure of “70% of Liverpool fans” arriving on the pitch with fake tickets, the source claimed.
“The communication was initiated by the prefecture, followed the minister. It’s a mistake,” the source said.
UEFA have now launched an investigation after photos of Liverpool supporters being gassed by police emerged.
French police have been widely accused of being brutal with largely peaceful supporters (pictured: a supporter is restrained by a police officer and steward inside the stadium by the turnstiles on May 28)
A real (left) and a fake (right) ticket for the Champions League final are displayed during a news conference in Paris May 30 following a security meeting. French authorities have defended police for indiscriminately firing tear gas and pepper spray at Liverpool fans in the Champions League final while accusing industry levels of fraud
Liverpool reacted with fury after the French government’s latest attempt to blame their supporters for the chaos that erupted in Saturday’s Champions League final (pictured above)
Fans, including young women and children, were sprayed with tear gas by French police (right)
After deploying 1,650 security and ticketing staff, 25% more than a sold-out France home game, the FFF said 110,000 people went to the stadium “based on information collected with various public and private operators.
UEFA reimburses supporters
UEFA has promised to compensate 2,700 ticket holders who were denied the opportunity to attend Saturday’s Champions League final in Paris.
The start of the match was delayed by 36 minutes as chaos reigned at the turnstiles with many Liverpool supporters barred from entering the stadium.
Some of those supporters were also sprayed with pepper spray and tear gas by French riot police.
Many eventually made it to the ground after the match started, but others missed the game altogether.
“We have asked UEFA, which agrees with us, that these people be precisely identified and receive immediate compensation,” said French Sports Minister Amélie Oudéa-Castera.
The FFF concluded that around the stadium there were “35,000 additional people in possession of counterfeit tickets or without tickets” and that they were “causing public disorder by blocking the gates of the stadium and preventing certain real ticket holders to enter before kick-off”. of the match scheduled for 9:00 p.m.
A senior gendarmerie officer backed the Interior Ministry official by saying: “These declarations mark the double bankruptcy of a ministry which not only does not know how to manage a sporting event of this magnitude but follows the declarations of a prefect dangerous and uncontrolled.
“In other countries, it would have been worth the resignation of the minister and the prefect. But in France, the lie is added to the police violence to cover it without this posing a problem.
Other senior police officers said specialist riot squads trained to deal with urban unrest should not have been present at the final.
These so-called “Brav” units wear helmets and bulletproof vests and are known to use tear gas and batons.
“Putting in Brav response companies who have no experience in managing fans for a sporting event of this magnitude is nonsense,” said one of the sources.
He said they “created the violence associated with the anti-government Yellow Yest movement” which caused riots on the streets of major cities during President Emmanuel Macron’s first administration.
Referring to the high-profile sporting events that will take place in France over the next two years, the police source said: “Fifteen months from the Rugby World Cup and twenty-four from the Olympics, this does not bode well. Well.”
There was a delay before kick-off to allow fans outside the stadium to enter
Liverpool have written to French Sports Minister Amelie Oudea-Castera asking for an apology after claiming 30,000 to 40,000 English people were “without tickets or with fake tickets”.
UEFA, the European football body, is launching an independent investigation into the treatment of Liverpool fans this weekend.
Critics have accused French ministers of scapegoating Liverpool supporters to cover up their own failures and the role of local thugs.
A Downing Street spokesperson said: ‘The images from Stade de France over the weekend were deeply moving and concerning. We know many Liverpool fans made it to Paris in good time…and we’re hugely disappointed.
Liverpool chairman Tom Werner has demanded an apology for the club’s treatment of fans after
Werner, who is part of US-based Fenway Sports Group and owner of Liverpool, said in a leaked letter sent to French Sports Minister Amélie Oudea-Castera on Monday that he remained “totally incredulous” at his comments. on chaos.
Oudea-Castera initially blamed Liverpool for contributing to the chaos, telling a French radio station that the club had failed to properly organize their supporters traveling to Paris.