One of the main allegations made by French officials to explain the scenes of chaos caused by the crowds Serious crush of fans Outside of last weekend’s Champions League final near Paris, tens of thousands of people arrived at the match with fake tickets.
France’s interior minister, Gerald Darmanin, claimed that up to 70 per cent of tickets submitted at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis were fake. He said at a press conference on Monday,root causeIt was rough chaos 30,000 to 40,000 English fans Carrying fake tickets – or without tickets – jams entrances.
But according to official figures reviewed by The New York Times, the exact number of fake tickets intercepted by the hosts guarding the entrance gates was much lower: 2,589, to be exact.
That number is nearly three times the usual number of falsifications in the Champions League final, a game widely seen as the European soccer equivalent of the Super Bowl, but far less than the figure used by Darmanin, who did not provide details until today. Wednesday. source of appreciation.
Darmanin and France’s Sports Minister, Amelie Odea Castera, who has made similar allegations over fake tickets, have faced growing criticism over the handling of the game. French President Emmanuel Macron called, on Wednesday, for “complete transparency” in the investigation into the match day scenes and their causes. In an appearance before a committee of the French Senate later Wednesday, Darmanin admitted, “It is clear that things could have been better organized.”
“It is clear that this sporting celebration has been ruined,” he added.
In what became a difficult appearance before the committee, Darmanin and Odea Castera were under constant pressure due to regulatory failures. In response, they largely repeated language that angered Liverpool, their fans and members of the British government.
At one point, Odea Castera told lawmakers that Liverpool supporters carried “very specific risks” from the French authorities’ viewpoint, without explaining what they meant.
Meanwhile, Darmanin insisted that the fake ticket numbers were on an unprecedented scale, claiming at one point there were so many that stadium security guards believed their validation tools were defective.
The hearing lasted more than an hour, and ended with little clarity and double-dip by officials about their earlier allegations, again without evidence to support their conclusions.
This prompted one lawmaker to ask: “Since Saturday, we have blamed Liverpool fans, the club, striking workers and local residents for the chaos. What allows you to make these statements without a thorough investigation?”
Not everyone in attendance had the same experience in the final. While most Real Madrid fans arrived with e-tickets, Liverpool requested paper cards to officially allocate 23,000 tickets. These tickets came bundled with two main wish features: one that had to be confirmed with a chemical pen and the second a laser engraving of the Champions League trophy.
Those holding tickets without the two security features were denied access by the hosts at an initial checkpoint far from the barcode readers in the stadium. But that system collapsed under a flood of fans: to ease the growing crowding of people, officials foregoed those first checks and allowed fans to get closer to the stadium.
The disaster led to a chorus of criticism of the security of the match, which Real Madrid beat Liverpool, 1-0, to claim its 14th European title. The Liverpool police, who attended in support roles, described the situation outside the gates.shocking. The club, its fans and a host of European fans all called for investigations even during the match. In the days that followed, British government officials demanded answers from their French counterparts and European football’s governing body, UEFA, over the treatment of thousands of Liverpool supporters.
Fans faced numerous problems, including serious breakouts, after being crammed into tight spaces, and the final was delayed by more than 30 minutes as French riot police used tear gas and pepper spray on fans after they appeared to have lost control of the situation. At the same time, hundreds of local youths attempted to storm the stadium, either through turnstiles or by climbing over the security fences. Officials estimated that as many as 4,000 people without tickets may have succeeded.
Part of the explanation for why Liverpool fans are trapped in such a small space has now turned to transport problems on match day, including a strike of workers that affected one of the main railway lines leading to the stadium.
UEFA and local officials compared travel data from Saturday’s match with numbers from the French Cup final held at the Stade de France on May 7. They found that one of the stations closest to the Stade de France has four times the number of fans traveling through it. Saturday gates from what the station was using during the French Cup final. They believe this contributed to a dangerous bottleneck for supporters.
It may be months before a full picture of what happened on the field emerges. On Tuesday, UEFA, which suffered chaotic scenes in last year’s European Championship final in London as well as the recent Europa League final in Seville, Spain, appointed Portugal’s former education minister, Thiago Brandao Rodriguez, to lead an independent investigation into the failures. About the UEFA Champions League Final.
However, the allegations made by representatives of the French government continue to anger Liverpool and its ownership. The club’s president, Tom Werner, said a lot in caustic letter To Oudéa-Castéra, the French Minister of Sports.
He wrote, in his own words, “out of sheer disbelief that a minister in the French government, a position of enormous responsibility and influence, could make a series of unsubstantiated statements on a matter of such importance before a proper and independent formal investigation had even taken place.”
He decried the “loose statements and unconfirmed assertions” given to reporters on Monday ahead of an investigation.
“The fact that your public stance runs counter to that objective is a concern in itself,” he added. Doing so without turning to ourselves or our supporters is even greater. All votes in this process must be counted, and they must be counted equally and fairly.”
In addition to attacking Oudéa-Castéra for her allegations, Werner also demanded a public apology. By late Tuesday, Oudéa-Castéra’s tone—albeit not her allegations about fake tickets—had changed.
She wrote on Twitter: “The issue of fake tickets doesn’t change this: Liverpool is one of the greatest clubs of all time.” “And on Saturday there were fans with valid tickets who had a bad evening or could not watch the game. We are sorry for that.”
Liverpool is still mired in video evidence filmed on mobile phones by its supporters. The images, many of which have also been uploaded to social media, are at times shocking, showing children and older fans grappling with the aftermath of tear gas – sometimes randomly – By riot police.
Real Madrid fans have had similar problems on their side of the pitch. Since the final, many fans have come forward to say that they were attacked or robbed as they entered and exited the stadium.
Amando Sanchez, 51, who traveled to Paris in a group of 14 people, mostly family members, said his 87-year-old father and older brother missed the match due to the chaos at the entrance gates. Sanchez said another brother fought off an attempt to steal his ticket as he prepared to display it at the stadium’s turnstile.
“No one really was responsible,” Sanchez said in an interview on Wednesday.
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