Hearings before the Senate on the chaos at the Stade de France on May 28 are continuing. This Tuesday, an official from UEFA, the organizing body of the Champions League, played down the controversial figure, put forward by the Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin, of “35,000 supporters” with falsified tickets or without tickets.
“We know that we had around 2,600 tickets brought to the turnstiles which were fake,” said Martin Kallen, managing director of UEFA Events, a subsidiary of the European body responsible for commercial event operations. “But a lot of counterfeit notes never arrived at the turnstiles (…) How many? We don’t know, we couldn’t really check. We do not believe that this was the figure mentioned after the first days in France, more or less 30,000 to 40,000”, he asserted, while evoking “several thousand tickets which were fake”.
In the first hours after this stormy final between Real Madrid and Liverpool (1-0), Gérald Darmanin had held the British supporters responsible for the incidents, citing “massive fraud” on ticketing and arousing the anger of supporters’ associations. Before the senators on June 1, the Minister of the Interior then sketched a mea culpa on the organization of the final during his hearing, while maintaining his controversial version on the number of counterfeit tickets.
This is the most terrifying experience I have ever had in Europe with Liverpool
Hearing in turn by the Senate on Tuesday, Liverpool supporters, through the voice of a representative, called on Gérald Darmanin to resign, castigating his “endless lies”.
Ted Morris, representative of the Association of Disabled Liverpool Supporters, present at the Stade de France on the day of the disrupted final, read before the Senate the testimonies of several disabled supporters “traumatized” by the incidents, victims of theft or attacks by local gangs in Saint-Denis or sprayed with tear gas by the police. “It’s the most terrifying experience I’ve ever had in Europe with Liverpool,” he said.
For the UEFA representative, the security fiasco of May 28 is linked to “multiple causes”. “Transport strike, bad reactions from stewards, law enforcement, there were delinquents (in the perimeter, editor’s note), an extremely large flow in front of the stadium without tickets or with fake tickets”, a-t-t he developed, before making some recommendations for the future. Like for example “working as much as possible with electronic tickets”, “having more work on the perimeters” of security around the stadium, or “having better communication with the actors in place to be informed about the situation inside and outside the stadium.
He specified that UEFA was going to take “some measures” which it would communicate later, pending the independent investigation which it commissioned at the end of May, which began its work “this week” and which should deliver its conclusions in September. .