Fiasco Paris stadium Stade de France

Two weeks after the fiasco at the Stade de France in St Denis before and after the soccer match final of the Champions League between Real Madrid and Liverpool, more evidence of cover-up of the facts are revealed… CCTV footage from the stadium was wiped automatically “because its not kept after 7 days”… Hello, with all the media attention and the outraged responses from the UK, neither the Interior Minister Gerard Darmanin nor the Prefect Didier Lallement thought the images might be “useful” for the ongoing enquiry. Unbelievable!

That is either blatant cover-up or incredible inefficiency or both.

Darmanin and the newly appointed Sports Minister held a press conference 2 days after the event. In my role as a TV journalist I attended the event.  One can applaud the speed in which the conference was arranged, but that’s all. They didn’t have the facts nor the correct figures and throughout the press conference all they did was pass the blame to others – Liverpool supporters, UEFA, false tickets.  Anything but face the truth. The police and CRS behavior was out of all proportion and should be severely condemned.  It is in the UK but here??

Darmanin actually congratulated police action ! He played down the horrific firing of tear gas at women children and supporters trying to attend a match for which they had paid travel, hotel, ticket expenses etc , because they wanted to attend a major football final.

He omitted to mention that a number of turnstiles were stuck at the stadium and people had to duck under. Police closed road access to St Denis in a number of places. Why?  The Liverpool fan zone was the other side of Paris, whereas Real Madrid’s zone was in St Denis.  An underground strike delayed fans from getting to the stadium. So yes it was stressful and complicated – for them.

Most are aware that thousands of Liverpool supporters were unable to attend the match because the authorities in charge failed to organize the event correctly.

Darmain during his press conference not having viewed CCTV footage claimed that Liverpool supporters had climbed over barriers to access the stadium. Er no, it was local French riff raff revealed by many broadcasters in the following days. Another example of not to make claims prior to having evidence.

Next year Paris hosts the Rugby World Cup, in 2024 the Olympics. One sincerely hopes lessons have been learnt.  One also hopes that the extensive roadworks we have been enduring for the past 2 years will be completed, otherwise we face chaos and further fiascos.

The distrastrous handling of the events during this fiasco has left its marks. 53% of French people have lost confidence in the government being able to insure their security during the Rugby World Cup in 2023 and the Olympic Games in 2024.



Following our investigations, there seem to be very few companies in France prepared for a crisis and how to handle the media if and when one occurs. We only need to look at the most recent example with Orpea a company offering medicalised housing for senior citizens. An unhappy family member wrote a book with distressing details of how badly the patients had been looked after and how Orpea swindled the state in numerous ways.  There have been some resignations but virtually no defense by those in charge on either radio or TV. Meanwhile many unhappy families have poured forth their tales of misery and there will be a class action.

That is the point of crisis communication. You can be sure that others will speak. So you must know how to defend what can be as in this case, the indefensible.

Of course, we hope no companies or organisations actually do have a crisis to handle, but honestly, every outfit needs to be prepared in case. That’s where IMT steps in and shows you how to be prepared.

Among IMT’s clients who understand the need to know are : a major US  fruit and vegetable producer and exporter, a  Finnish paper manufacturer with 5 large factories in France, several French ministries, ambassadors, a chain of horse racing circuits, a refrigerated trucking company…

We are here to help.  God willing what you will learn will remain in the bosses filing cabinet, but if the sky falls upon your heads at least you will be prepared.