Liverpool fans’ nightmare in Paris: Are the allegations of the French sports and interior ministers piling up?

last night, Liverpool Chairman Tom Werner sent a message to FranceSports Minister Amelie Odea Castera asked her to apologize for her comments about the supposed reasons for the 37-minute delay to start Champions League Final in Paris on Saturday night.

Earlier on Monday, Odea Castera and French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin held a press conference in which he blamed “British fans” for arriving late at the Stade de France, despite overwhelming photographic and video evidence to the contrary. The two also blamed “fake tickets”, claiming there are as many as 40,000 dealers around the northern suburbs of Paris, close to where the land is.

over here, the athlete He considers each of these allegations, which are inconsistent with the conclusions of Mathieu Vallet, a spokesman for the French Autonomous Federation of Police Commissioners, who believes that local youth were responsible for causing the disturbance…


French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin: “At 21:00 (Paris time, 8pm in the UK), when the match was supposed to start, 97 per cent of the Spanish fans were in attendance, and only 50 per cent of the British fans had entered their section, which shows The difficulties that arose only from the entrance of the Liverpool supporters and not the other entrances.”

Is this stacked?

While the numbers may tell the truth, the two clubs’ dedicated access points made it easy Real Madrid Fans to enter the stadium. However, this ignores the fact that Real Madrid fans have faced their own security problems, with supporters telling the Spanish media of their anger at dismal police, stolen tickets and violent attacks on their way to the match, as well as on their way out afterwards. He. She.

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Before kick-off, while Real Madrid fans came from the north, from the Parc de la Legion d’Honneur fan park just 1.5 kilometers away, they passed a ticket checkpoint where there was plenty of space, guards and police to deal with any approach, geography in The other end of the earth, where Liverpool fans were supposed to be stationed at kick-off time, called for huge challenges.

There were well over 20,000 fans just for the Liverpool section of the stadium traveling from central Paris, because thousands of fans had tickets in the neutral parts of the grounds, as well as some Real fans who didn’t bring their fans. The district and journalists used the same RER line and the same metro station. From that station there was only one road to “Stade”, which was supposed to take 17 minutes but for many took up to three hours.

From the metro, fans of Liverpool, Real Madrid and the “neutrals” were led into a narrow lane on the side of a double carriageway where police vans clogged themselves with large expanses.

Three hours before kick-off, the boost had already reached an uncomfortable level. the athlete Writers James Pearce and Oliver Kaye traveled to the match separately but had exactly the same experiences. Concerned about pressure in the crowd, both managed to climb a barrier before approaching the Stade de France.

After touring the stadium to reach the accreditation center, it became clear that Real Madrid fans do not face the same geographical problems. the athleteCaoimhe O’Neill, who approached the stadium across the Madrid end because her ticket was in a neutral zone, underwent two ticket checks, one by the police and one by the hosts.

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In the end, it does not appear that the French authorities have acknowledged that there are very different arrangements at both ends of the stadium.

Perhaps they felt they had a reason to make different arrangements for the respective fan bases. But if so, this should be clarified.


Darmanin: “There was a huge fraud on the industrial level and the organization of fake tickets because the pre-screening by the Stade de France and the French Football Federation found that 70 per cent of the tickets were fake.”

Is this stacked?

By simple mathematics, this is impossible, as it would mean that more than 40,000 fake tickets were in circulation. For the authorities to know that within three hours, even the minimum of this estimate would require 167 people to attempt to enter illegally per minute. That’s roughly three per second.

There is no doubt that there are some fake tickets circulating, but the numbers that the French government is talking about do not seem reliable from afar.

Dan Nicholson, who has run major events targeting Liverpool’s fan base, says the claim is absurd: “Turning tens of thousands of units of anything in just three weeks is phenomenal business. If you’re doing it offline without retail outlets, you’ll need a network Of at least 500 people willing to do an average of 80 tickets each.”

If a fraudulent online ticket purchase is launched instead, Nicholson believes fraudsters will need a fulfillment service to rival some of Europe’s largest e-commerce operations, while avoiding the attention of authorities over a three-week period. He said, “This is not happening.”


Liverpool fans with tickets had to wait outside the Stade de France (Image: GETTY)

Darmanin: “Once they passed the pre-screening stage, 15 percent of tickets were fake, and more than 2,600 tickets were unapproved even though they went through the first filtering process.”

Is this stacked?

The French Interior Minister would have had this information if the security operation had not collapsed two hours before kick-off when hosts in several regions abandoned ticket checks.

At the first ticket checkpoint at the end of Liverpool, thousands were allowed to cross without checking tickets an hour and 20 minutes before kick-off as authorities lost control of their operations – apparently in an effort to de-pressurize the huge queues that had developed over the three hours. past.

I was there when this happened and my ticket wasn’t validated until I got to the first gate. Since then, other fans have told me, the scanners used to validate mobile phone tickets at the failed checkpoint stopped working, meaning authorities were unable to efficiently regulate who was entering, which added to subsequent delays at the gates.

The numbers here indicate that a large number of people have been turned away in the pre-liquidation stage.

Our Oliver Kay was waiting at a checkpoint for nearly an hour while checking tickets and didn’t see anyone being turned away. A friend says he was held there for two hours and only saw about 10 people who were turned away with fake tickets.

Meanwhile, his colleague James Pierce has friends who were in possession of original tickets only to be told they were fake. They won’t check after three or four tries.


Darmanin: “The massive presence of these fake tickets was the problem which resulted in delays. There were 29 arrests made inside the Stade de France and more than half of these arrests were from British supporters because they broke into the Stade de France.”

Is this stacked?

Various numbers have appeared since Saturday evening. French media later reported that 105 people had been arrested. Now, they suggest there were 29 inside the stadium and that “more than half” of those arrested were British.

So far, it has not explained why these people were arrested.

The background to the non-British arrests was also not disclosed. It is clear from the videos, which are widely available on social media, that locals entered the stadium without tickets. There have also been numerous accounts of fans of both clubs being targeted by gangs believed to be from the area around the Stade de France.

The two fires that Oliver Kay witnessed outside the stadium were lit with the participation of local residents and not fans of either club.

Vallett, a spokesman for France’s independent union of police commissioners, spoke of “professional thugs, mostly minors” who “wanted to storm the stadium and put the police on hard times”. The fans who were at the gates said the same thing. But the French government ignores this.


French Sports Minister Amelie Odea Castera: “The main central point is to understand precisely what happened during this massive ticketing fraud. There are witnesses to this and figures confirm that 30,000 to 40,000 were without tickets or with fake tickets. The fake tickets looked incredibly like regular tickets, which meant that some elements of The control didn’t notice it.”

Is this stacked?

Of course, it is important to understand what happened. This applies not only to Odea Castera’s allegations of “mass fraud” but to the inadequate security arrangements which were undoubtedly a very important factor in the chaos.

Late on Monday evening, UEFA announced that an “independent report” would be carried out by Dr. Thiago Brandao Rodriguez, the Portuguese MP. A statement from UEFA suggested that “evidence will be collected from all relevant parties”.

And for this to be done comprehensively, it would certainly have to include consultation with thousands upon thousands of fans and media who were stuck at the first point of “pre-filtering” where a lot of problems started.

(Additional contributors: James Pearce, Oliver Kaye, Kawim O’Neill)

(Top image: Thomas Coex/AFP via Getty Images)

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