In a significant development, French interior minister Gerald Darmanin has apologised for 'bad management' that caused chaos at last month's Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool in Paris. Earlier, Darmanin blamed supporters with fake tickets for the disruption after several footages of fans crowded into tight spaces and being attacked by tear gas by police went viral.
UEFA events director Martin Kallen last week informed French senators investigating the incident that the football body's count of fake tickets was too less than the figure quoted by French authorities. While speaking on RTL radio on Tuesday, French interior minister Gerald Darmanin stated that things could have been managed better at the State de France stadium, and took accountability for the incident. "Should things have been managed better at the Stade de France (stadium)? The answer is yes. Am I partly responsible? The answer is yes,” Darmanin said.
The minister further apologised for the incident and asked for forgiveness from everyone who suffered at the event. Darmanin also commented on the issue of fake tickets as he claimed that he does not believe in the number mentioned in France. He said, "2,600 fake tickets were identified at turnstiles compared with the number of 30,000 to 40,000 people with fake tickets and without tickets. It was a question of fake tickets that created the difficulties we all know about."
He added that “if there was something that went wrong at the Stade de France, it was the fight against delinquency”, saying he had already ordered a reorganisation of policing around the venue and that three major matches since had passed without incident. While there were instances of crime by local gangs of youth before and after the match, there were several complaints about the police treatment of fans. Last week, disabled Liverpool fans told the Senate how officers sprayed tear gas at people in wheelchairs.
In his recent interaction, Liverpool manager Steve Rotheram told AFP news agency that people's memories will forever be tarred by the lack of organisation and heavy-handed policing. "The way authorities tried to deflect blame and scapegoat Liverpool fans for their incompetence, has made things worst,” Liverpool Mayor Steve Rotheram said.