New diplomatic clash between Paris and London over incidents in the Champions League final

ParisThe monumental chaos that took place on Saturday in the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool, which was played in Paris, has ended with a new diplomatic confrontation between France and the United Kingdom. The whites won (1-0), but the match will go down in history for the incidents that took place around the Stade de France, with leaking points that were about to cause stampede, the police overflowing using gas pepper in areas where there were whole families waiting to enter the stadium, agents pointing guns at citizens, sneaking fans and violent robberies. The chaos was so great that UEFA, in an unprecedented decision, postponed the start of the match for 36 minutes to give time to enter the thousands of fans who had not been able to enter the stadium. A thousand were still out when the final of the Champions.

The Spanish and British press have harshly criticized the police system – clearly insufficient – and the mismanagement of fan flows, but the French government on Monday rejected criticism after a meeting between Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin , and the head of Sports, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, and has ruled out any self-criticism. The French executive has blamed the chaos on Liverpool fans who traveled to Paris without a ticket and the “massive, industrial and organized fraud of fake tickets”. In fact, the Interior Minister congratulated the police on Saturday and on Monday said that the decisions taken – such as removing the filtering points in the face of the danger of avalanches – “prevented any deaths”.

According to Darmanin, there were between 30,000 and 40,000 Liverpool fans on Saturday, with no tickets or a fake, almost twice as many. Reds that they really had input. The figures were answered by journalists who were at the checkpoints: according to witnesses, most people who arrived had a valid ticket. UEFA also blames the incidents on English fans, whom it accuses of being late for the stadium.

London is calling for an investigation

The British government does not buy the French authorities’ version and has asked the French government and UEFA to investigate the incident. “We know that many Liverpool fans traveled to Paris in time to support their team in one of the most important matches of the season, and we are very disappointed with how they were treated,” said Prime Minister Boris Johnson. .

In France, the explanations are not convincing either. In fact, Darmanin has not given any explanation for the avalanche of thefts that occurred with the crowding of people around the stadium and the subway and train stations, although he has admitted the facts. “We were prepared to deal with hooliganism, but we were certainly much less prepared for a crime that took advantage of the cases around the stadium, “the minister admitted.

Two weeks before the first round of legislative elections, the far right has taken advantage of the incidents to re-stigmatize immigration and peripheral municipalities such as Saint-Denis, where the Stade de France is located. “Saint-Denis has not been in France for a long time,” said far-right Éric Zemmour on Monday, referring to the municipality’s high percentage of immigrants. Beyond the internal political brawl, Saturday’s incidents make it clear that France will have to work harder with the huge police force it will have to deploy in two years’ time, when Paris will host the Olympics.

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