French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin on Tuesday issued a partial apology for the chaos that erupted last month in the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool in Paris.
“Should the Stade de France have been better managed? The answer is yes. Am I partly responsible? The answer is yes,” he asked in an interview with local radio station RTL.
“Of course, I apologize to everyone affected by this mismanagement,” he added.
The final match was marred by scenes of chaos as Liverpool fans struggled to get into the stadium to attend the match, raising questions about the French capital’s ability to host the 2024 Olympics.
— RTL France (@RTLFrance) June 28, 2022
After scenes in which fans crowded into enclosed spaces and were tear-gassed by the police angered politicians and athletes, Dharmanan added fuel to the fire by accusing fans of having counterfeit tickets.
Martin Kalin, UEFA’s director of sporting events, told French senators investigating the case last week that the number of counterfeit tickets counted by his body was far below the tens of thousands claimed by French authorities.
In this regard, he said: “We do not believe that the number indicated in France is correct,” adding that they counted 2,600 fake tickets at the turnstiles (at the entrance to the stadium), and not from 30,000 to 40,000, as claimed Darmanan.
The home secretary said on Tuesday that “the issue of counterfeit tickets … has created difficulties we all know.”
“If something goes wrong at the Stade de France, it is to fight the snub,” he added, stressing that he had previously ordered a reorganization of the police around the stadium and that three important matches had been played without incident since the continental final.
A report released by the French government on the 10th of this month said a series of “failures” by the authorities caused chaos in the Champions League final and deplored the police response to the events, which caused “serious damage to France’s image”.
Pressure on France escalated after the local football federation told the Senate that footage from the Stade de France’s security camera had been destroyed after it was not subject to a court order under French law, knowing that the French the police confirmed that they still had theirs and it was he who acted justice.