the Senate delivers a long-awaited report on Wednesday

Who is responsible for the Stade de France security fiasco during the Champions League final on May 28? And what consequences for the 2024 Olympics in Paris? The Senate delivers its long-awaited report on Wednesday on this evening which turned into an embarrassing scandal.

Real Madrid-Liverpool, two of Europe’s biggest clubs, clashed in a summit match watched by hundreds of millions of viewers around the world and whose organization had been entrusted to France in replacement of the city of Saint Petersburg, dismissed because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

But between the spectators without tickets climbing the gates surrounding the stadium, those duly provided with tickets who could not enter, the families sprayed with tear gas by the police or the robberies and attacks perpetrated by opportunistic criminals, the party had been spoiled.

A little over a year from the Rugby World Cup organized in nine cities of the country and the Summer Olympic Games expected in the capital, the evening of May 28 earned its organizers, the police and to the government ridicule and criticism.

The Senate Law and Culture Committees, which will present their information report on the management of these incidents on Wednesday at noon, have already denounced a “fiasco”, the result of a “multiplicity of factors badly taken into consideration by the many stakeholders.

“All lessons must be learned for the organization of the next international sporting events”, warned the parliamentarians, led by the presidents of the two commissions, Laurent Lafon (centrist) and François-Noël Buffet (LR).

To prepare this report, they heard from officials from sporting bodies, representatives of Liverpool supporters and French authorities, including the often controversial Paris police chief Didier Lallement and interior minister Gérald Darmanin.

The latter was at the heart of a lively controversy by placing most of the responsibility for the incidents, against most observers on the spot, on « 30,000 to 40,000 English supporters » who, he said, were presented at the stadium « without a ticket or with counterfeit tickets ».

Image “reached”

Gérald Darmanin’s explanations were also undermined by UEFA, which only counted 2,600 counterfeit tickets at the turnstiles. And if the European football body told senators that it did not know exactly how many fans without tickets had gone to the vicinity of the Stade de France, it “does not believe that was the figure mentioned in France « . “If Darmanin had not lied, there would have been no affair”, estimated François-Noël Buffet (LR) in an interview with Progrès at the beginning of the month.

Pressed by critics, the Minister of the Interior ended up recognizing at the end of June « a part of responsibility » in the failures of the evening and reiterated his « apologies » to the supporters « who suffered this mismanagement ».

Beyond the police management of the incidents, the controversy has also been fueled by the non-conservation of part of the CCTV images of the Stade de France, described as “serious fault” by Senator Buffet. In parallel with the work of the Senate, the interministerial delegate to the Olympic Games and major events, Michel Cadot, pinpointed as of June 10, in a first report to Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, the « failures » of the organization and the response police to the incidents which, according to him, caused « serious damage to the image of France ».

Mr. Cadot pleaded in return for the establishment of a national steering body for international sporting events of major interest, on the model of the one already in place for the 2024 Olympics. Determined to « learn all the lessons » from these failures, Ms. Borne has already instructed the Ministers of the Interior and Sports to « immediately implement » her recommendations.

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