Multiple coordinated elements caused immense chaos at the Stade de France on Saturday in the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool (1-0).
RER B’s strike causes a concentration of fans
The announced RER B strike prompted several thousand fans to prefer the Stade de France via line D. For example, several thousand Liverpool supporters gathered along the A1 motorway to pass a pre-screening with lengthy excavations showing the passage significantly slowed down while the filter passages on the RER B side were faster and much less frequented.
A bottleneck and lack of diversions
The passage that Liverpool supporters took at the exit of the RER D quickly became crowded, mainly due to the parking of police vans and the slowness of the searches. Observers have pointed to the lack of communication from the organizers to refer fans to other, much less crowded doors. To avoid the risk of crushing, the prefect then lifted the first filter zone. “Especially because – on the Wilson driveway in the south of the Stade de France – there was a proximity to the highway that entailed risks for people, the Minister of Sport, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, stated this Monday on RTL. The Prefect of Police made the decision to move people to the forecourt, closer to the second area where the turnstiles were.”
Spectators without tickets or with false tickets in their sights
The French government and police headquarters have singled out the same culprits to justify the chaos: people without tickets or with fake tickets. Amélie Oudéa-Castéra estimated them at between 30,000 and 40,000 and accuses them of causing “overcrowding”, which put a lot of pressure on the security services. “Because the tickets were fake, the turnstiles were blocked and there was a concentration in the forecourt causing safety issues and congestion that caused an extremely frustrating wait for people,” she told RTL again on Monday. She also deplored Liverpool’s sale of paper tickets. A request accepted by UEFA, which it said allowed the counterfeiting of precious sesame.
Take advantage of the confusion between “300 and 400 young people”
The lifting of the first filter point caused a massive influx in front of the gates of the Stade de France. Supporters with or without tickets were then joined by some troublemakers from the town of Saint-Denis who tried and often succeeded in forcing entry. “The many supporters proliferated around the south entrances of the stadium, some trying to force entry (gates Y, Z and A), which had also been disabled by handing over forged tickets, the prefect’s report said. were joined by 300 to 400 young people from the sensitive areas of Seine-Saint-Denis who, taking advantage of the removal of the filter point, also tried to force the device.
Mysterious closed doors
Many Liverpool fans also got stuck at the stadium entrance gates, some of which had been mysteriously closed. “They closed the doors because of a computer problem, underlines Pierre Barthélémy, lawyer for several French supporters who, on behalf of the association France Supporters Europe (FSE), observed the management of the flows in the stadium on Saturday. No more scanning tickets: when we went to the turnstiles , they didn’t work. These are arguments that the prefecture of police hid in its communications. When we got to the gates, the stewards said the computer system stopped working, that we couldn’t get in. We saw people waiting for 45 minutes, even UEFA- officials with accreditations who couldn’t get through.”
A problem that, according to Pierre Barthélémy, is not due to counterfeit banknotes. “No, because the counterfeit bills were a problem with pre-filtering, according to the prefecture, not turnstiles,” he said.
Families, children and the elderly gassed
Authorities also denounced the late arrival of English supporters, with the majority showing up at the stadium well before kick-off. The chaos caused by the influx of people in front of the stadium gates led to a repositioning of the police to “defend the perimeter of the stadium”, which “required vigorous police action with tear gas to maintain the tightness of the stadium. the three gates that had been attacked and thus allowed the smooth running of the match.Many videos show Liverpool police supporters being gassed, showing only their ticket.Children, families and the elderly have paid the price, causing outrage worldwide.
Misinterpreted Police Intelligence?
Various police sources contacted by RMC Sport have all come up with the same idea since Saturday evening: the misuse of police intelligence prior to the meeting. According to a specialist in this field, “it is certain that all the directives sent by the French, but also the Spanish and English intelligence services for several weeks were not productive on Saturday” before going further: “if the intelligence is badly exploited, it is worth worth nothing to the forces on the ground”.
This Monday morning, the Sports Minister pointed to the lack of oversight of Liverpool fans by the English club, unlike that of Real Madrid. “The fact that Real has so tightly controlled the arrival of its supporters to Paris by providing buses from the airport and organizing everything from one point to another – which is in stark contrast to the Liverpool club leaving its supporters in nature – made a big difference.”