“Series of malfunctions” behind the Champions League final chaos, according to the French Senate
By Camille Knight and Amandine Hess, CNN
The French Senate cleared liverpool fans from any responsibility in the The chaos of the Champions League finalinstead blaming French decision-making, two senators told reporters at a press conference Wednesday presenting the findings of a report on the violence.
The Senate has yet to make the report public at the time of writing.
Senator Laurent Lafon, chairman of the culture, education and communication commission, co-author of the report, attributed the violent scenes of the final to “a series of malfunctions that occurred in a rather vague administrative and decision-making framework”.
“It was not the number of people present around the stadium that caused these malfunctions,” he said. “Just because there were Liverpool supporters accompanying their team doesn’t mean things went wrong.”
The senators blamed the lack of “anticipation” of several institutions, including the French police and the European football association UEFA. Senator François-Noël Buffet, chairman of the Senate law commission who co-wrote the report, notably pointed to the failure of the filtering process.
“It only took 10,000 to 15,000 people to make the screening process impossible. Even if there hadn’t been more supporters than seats in the stadium, the situation could have been the same, causing the same chaos, and leading to dramas that we fortunately avoided. This failure is therefore due to the decisions taken by the police,” Buffet said.
The number of counterfeit tickets was “10 times higher than the usual average” according to Lafon, believing that “the management of the ticket office by UEFA proved to be insufficient”.
Lafon also contradicted the arguments put forward by French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, “namely that the disturbances caused were linked to a massive influx of spectators and a large number of counterfeit notes”. He added that “those two arguments exist, but they are not the cause of the disturbances”.
“Obviously we offer our regrets and our apologies for what happened,” Lafon said, adding that the fans were “real victims” of the chaos.
Much criticism has been leveled at the treatment of fans by the French authorities deployed for the game in May. Photos and videos circulating on social media show Liverpool supporters crowded into fenced-off areas and tear gas used by police.
At the start of June, UEFA apologized “to all the spectators who had to experience or witness frightening and distressing events” in the preparation for the match. In addition, the governing body said it has set up an independent review to “identify shortcomings and responsibilities of all entities involved in the organization of the final” with a final report expected to appear on the website of the association. ‘.
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