the Senate accuses the Minister of the Interior and the police headquarters

A “failure” attributable to the “decisions” of the Paris police headquarters and the explanations of the Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin far from “the truth”: the senators pointed out on Wednesday the “failures” of the French authorities during the Champions League final at the Stade de France which turned into chaos at the end of May.

Darmanin’s claims dismantled

“It’s not because there were Liverpool supporters who accompanied their team that it went badly,” said Laurent Lafon, chairman of the Senate’s Culture Committee, during the press presentation. of an information report on the security fiasco of the Real Madrid-Liverpool match on May 28.

From the end of the meeting, Minister Darmanin had placed most of the responsibility for the incidents on “30,000 to 40,000 English supporters” who, he had affirmed against most of the observers on the spot, had presented themselves at the stadium “ without a ticket or with counterfeit tickets”. Pressed by critics, he ended up presenting an “apology” to the supporters and admitted, at the end of June, a share of responsibility “in the failures of the evening. “The analysis made” by Minister Darmanin, “was not the good”, denounced Laurent Lafon. It was “partial and imprecise”, he said again. “The positions evolved as the hearings progressed”, recalled François-Noël Buffet (LR) the president of the Law Commission, but “the first statements did not correspond to the truth”.

“Sequence of malfunctions”

One of Liverpool’s main supporters’ associations, Spirit of Shankly, reacted to the report by welcoming the “clear message of support (sent) to the supporters who attended this match”, while demanding that “the French government apologizes and a full retraction for the lies broadcast since May 28, 2022.”

Spectators without tickets climbing the gates of the stadium, others with tickets but unable to enter, families sprayed with tear gas by the police or thefts and assaults committed by opportunistic criminals: these scenes which have gone around the world, are due to a “sequence of malfunctions” and “failures” both “in the execution” and in the “preparation” of the event, denounced Laurent Lafon again. “Everyone was in their lane without there being any real coordination,” he also noted. “This failure is due to the decisions taken by the Paris police headquarters”, criticized François-Noël Buffet (LR), the president of the Law Commission.

Lack of adaptation

The rapporteurs notably underlined the lack of adaptation to manage the flow of spectators, arriving in droves by the RER D because of the strike on the RER B. The senators also underline the responsibility of UEFA, accusing it of “inadequate ticketing management”. In particular, they criticize the body for not having planned a “particular device” to identify counterfeit notes, while their number was “ten times higher than the averages observed”.

The senators thus ask, among the 15 recommendations which conclude their report, to “make compulsory the use of unforgeable tickets” during such events, one year before the organization in France of the Rugby World Cup and before the games. Olympics in 2024.

Surveillance cameras in the viewfinder

The report also returns to the non-conservation of part of the CCTV images, which had fueled the controversy. “Neither the consortium (…) nor the police headquarters, nor the Bobigny prosecutor’s office, acted diligently to safeguard evidence essential to the manifestation of the truth”, they denounce.

The senators recommend “requiring operators” of places where major sporting events are held to keep these images “for the legal period of one month”. They also ask the Ministry of the Interior to “define a doctrine for the use of tear gas”, which “prevents the exposure of people who do not present an immediate danger to them”.

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