English supporters tell about the incidents in the Stade de France before the Senate

They were the first to be concerned; they were the last to be heard. As usual in the stands, representatives of the supporters who attended the evening of the Champions League final – Saturday, May 28 – exchanged the stands of the stadiums for those of the Senate on Tuesday, June 21. In turn, they were heard by parliamentarians after the various authorities – police headquarters, French football association, various ministers –; and after the senators came out “early lessons” pulled from over two weeks of auditions, scathing of “many disturbances”.

Also read: Article reserved for our subscribers Incidents at the Stade de France: Senators demand “quick response from the state”

“What should have been a wonderful weekend in Paris turned into a terrifying experience”explained Ted Morris, who represents the Liverpool Disabled Supporters Association: “The trauma will last for a long time. †

Until then, Senate hearings had retained the chill of administrative exchanges, each justifying the behavior of the troops he was responsible for leading to this combination of dysfunctions — such as the Prefect of Police, Didier Lallement, on June 9, or representatives of the Union of European Football Associations, UEFA, on Thursday morning.

Fan stories, which document the experiences of many supporters, have changed tone and fleshed out the numbers and figures that have been thrown around since game night. Of the “overwhelming testimonials and an apocalyptic situation”Patrick Kanner, François Hollande’s former Sports Minister, summarized after Ted Morris shared what an 8-year-old autistic child was going through, crushed outside the stadium and separated from his father, attacked by residents of the city and then sprayed with tear gas”

Fans had lobbied for the right to speak before the Senate. “It’s the first time since February 25, when Paris was elected [pour accueillir la finale]that an institution listens to us”said Joe Blott, representative of the Liverpool supporters’ association Spirit of Shankly.

In addition to French and Madrid supporters, the Liverpuldien did not spare the leadership of the police. “French police forces got stuck in the 1980s and mistook us all for hooligans”met Joe Blott, denouncing “the stereotypes that weigh on football fans” and “Police are there for safety, but not for safety”

Call for the resignation of Gérald Darmanin

‘Liverpool supporters were treated all year round exactly as we are treated: as a threat’Ronan Evain, Executive Director of the Football Supporters Europe (FSE) federation, extended his presence as an observer in the stadium on the evening of the match.

If the course of events on the sidelines of the Champions League final (where Real Madrid beat Liverpool) has largely come to light through the various hearings and through the report of the Interministerial Delegate for the Olympic and Paralympic Games and by major sporting events, Michel Cadot, the supporters cursed “hurried communication, original error” of the executive, according to Ronan Evain.

Also read: Article reserved for our subscribers Incidents at the Stade de France: not to blame but officials, points to a government report

“Your endless lies and false stories have only amplified our trauma. We will never forgive them.”Ted Morris said of the Home Secretary, Gérald Darmanin, calling on him to… ” remove [ses] unfounded accusations and the decency to resign”

Shortly after the game, the latter berated British supporters, putting the security fiasco on the back of a “massive, industrial and organized fraud involving counterfeit banknotes”. A position that has since been largely undermined, including by an official from UEFA, the governing body of the Champions League.

Contrary to what the Home Secretary said here, the English supporters were not at the root of the incidents.Senate Law Committee Chairman François-Noël Buffet ruled, apologizing to British fans who came to France “to do justice”.

Two years after the 2024 Olympics in Paris and a year after the Rugby World Cup, supporters representatives have called for more direct communication with authorities – including the police – to prevent such disruptions from happening again.

‘You have to learn to welcome supporters’, urged Pierre Barthélemy, representative of FSE. For him, France, “the only country in Europe that bans football fans traveling every weekend because we don’t know how to manage them”has a lot to learn from its neighbors about how to manage supporters. “If you don’t know how to manage 50 supporters, you obviously don’t have the ambition to manage 80,000 supporters.” Next to him were Liverpool fans nodding.

Also read: Article reserved for our subscribers Inappropriate Doctrine, Insufficient Dialogue: The Failures of Supporter Management in France