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.

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