French government minister also falsely claimed fans were at fault for police brutality and endangerment
An inquiry by the French Senate into horrific scenes at the Champions League final in May has put the blame for the violence and abuse firmly on the French authorities and not on Liverpool supporters, as the French government originally tried to claim.
The French government initially blamed supporters and fake tickets for the crowd chaos that led to fans being tear-gassed and robbed in Paris.
The report on two Senate committees’ investigations concludes that fans were unfairly blamed and says that ‘dysfunctional’ errors were made throughout the planning and execution of the match arrangements, going so far as to title the report a ‘fiasco’ and dismissing the authorities’ claims that the issues were caused by Liverpool fans turning up with fake tickets.
Fans were tear-gassed and pepper-sprayed outside the ground, with some denied entry to the match despite holding valid tickets after turnstile machines failed to operate properly. The report also blames a police attempt to ‘pre-filter’ fans as they arrived at the rail station, a system that was completely impractical for the numbers of fans arriving, causing bottlenecks and crushes. Damningly, the authorities deleted CCTV footage of the violence a week after the game.
The chair of one of the inquiries condemned the lack of coordination and communication among different bodies involved in the planning, as well as the attempts to scapegoat supporters for the abject failures of the organisers and police.
In his testimony to the inquiries, French minister Gerald Darmanin still tried to blame supporters even though he was forced to admit to numerous failures of organisation. The government had originally claimed that 30-40,000 Liverpool fans had arrived without genuine tickets – a smear now confirmed to be a complete fabrication.
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