The French Senate has condemned the events which took place at the Stade de France during the UEFA Champions League final on May 28 as an “inevitable fiasco” in its new report on the incident.
Liverpool fans reported spending hours in cramped ticket queues before and during the Champions League final against Real Madrid, and some had tear gas fired at them. The match kick-off was delayed by over half an hour.
The chaos intensified later on, when gangs of people thought to be from the local Parisian suburb jumped over fences into the stadium, several beginning to pickpocket fans.
The new report stated that the situation was the “consequence of a chain of failures”.
It was presented on July 13 to the Senate by the president of the culture commission, Laurent Lafon.
He criticised "failures" both "in the execution" and in the "preparation" of the event, and said that on that day, "everyone was in their own camp with no real coordination".
Mr Lafon also said that the incidents were not the fault of Liverpool supporters after the government suggested that the issues had been mainly provoked by fans showing up to the Stade de France despite not having tickets.
The report read: “It is unfair to have sought to blame Liverpool supporters for the unrest that occurred, as the Interior Minister did, in order to deflect attention from the failure of the state to properly manage the crowd present."
‘Ticketing management was inadequate’
It continued to say that the “ticketing management was inadequate” but that it was “not the sole cause of the incidents”.
The report instead recommended 15 measures to take to avoid similar issues from happening again, including “requiring operators [to keep] CCTV images for the legal period of one month”, and making it “compulsory to use forgery-proof tickets”.
During the press conference for the report, François-Noël Buffet, president of the legal commission, said that the version of the events “first declared” by Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin and Paris Police Prefect Didier Lallement – including the alleged presence of 35,000-40,000 Liverpool supporters gathering at the gates of the Stade de France – “were not the truth”.
Mr Darmanin had previously said that “70% of the tickets circulating were fake”,
Attitude of French Interior Minister criticised
In a separate statement, Senator Michel Savin denounced “the attitude of the interior minister” during the commission’s work, and said that he had not helped “enable the commission to fully understand what happened”.
In May, a ticket industry expert told The Connexion that Liverpool fans’ preference for printed tickets (as opposed to digital ones with unique QR codes) was likely to be at the root of the “industrial scale” fraud.
Liverpool FC itself called for a formal investigation into the events, while UEFA issued a statement saying: "UEFA is sympathetic to those affected by these events and will further review these matters urgently together with the French police and authorities, and with the French Football Federation."