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Incidents at the Stade de France: UEFA announces the opening of an “independent investigation”

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UEFA announced on Monday the opening of an “independent investigation” into the security fiasco which accompanied the Champions League final at the Stade de France on Saturday, at the heart of a controversy that has become political. UEFA promises to “examine the decision-making, responsibilities and behavior of all parties involved in the final”.

UEFA announced Monday evening the opening of an “independent investigation” into the security fiasco which accompanied the Champions League final at the Stade de France on Saturday, at the heart of a controversy that has become political. The European body indicated in a press release “an independent investigation into the events around the Champions League final”, after having simply mentioned Saturday evening at first the “thousands of counterfeit tickets” blocking “the turnstiles on the side stands reserved for Liverpool”.

UEFA promises to “examine the decision-making, responsibilities and behavior of all parties involved in the final”. The investigation was entrusted to an independent personality, the former Portuguese Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, Tiago Brandão Rodrigues.

“It was absolutely awful”

On Saturday evening, the impossibility of transporting spectators with tickets in time not only delayed the kick-off of the match by 36 minutes, won by Real Madrid against Liverpool (1-0), but the scenes of chaos around the stadium also went around the world.

Jostling, attempted intrusion by individuals without a ticket, supporters – including children – treated brutally by the police or victims of theft, “it was absolutely horrible” around the Stade de France on Saturday, told on the Sky News channel the British deputy Ian Byrne, present on the spot.

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Darmanin denounces “massive fraud”

Some fans were unable to enter the enclosure until well after kick-off, while others were never able to cross the gates of the 79,000-seat stadium, according to numerous accounts on social networks.

Faced with criticism, which strongly tarnishes the image of France as the host country two years from the 2024 Olympics in Paris, the French Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, spoke on Monday of a “massive, industrial and organized fraud of false tickets “coming” from across the Channel.

The British government wants answers

He said he was “sorry” for the spectators with tickets who were unable to attend the match and expressed his “regrets” for those who suffered from the use of tear gas by the police, but also considered that “there would have been deaths” without the decisions taken by the police and the prefect Didier Lallement.

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However, the British government has for its part called on UEFA to “work closely with the French authorities in a full investigation” and to publish the conclusions.

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