A ministerial meeting is being held on Monday to try to “identify the dysfunctions” during the Champions League final on Saturday evening at the Stade de France. The editorialist of Europe 1 Virginie Phulpin believes that we must first find the causes of these overflows, and not accuse the English supporters too quickly.
Two days after the overflows which broke out at the Stade de France, a ministerial meeting took place Monday morning at the Ministry of Sports. The goal is to analyze the dysfunctions of the organization of the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool. According to the editorialist Virginie Phulpin, it is first necessary to seek the causes of these overflows and to look into the failures of the organization, before having the reflex to point too quickly to the English supporters as the main responsible for the incidents.
The reflex to point the supporters
It is more useful to analyze the dysfunctions rather than to accuse the England supporters of being the source of all the evils. It’s almost a reflex, in France, to point the finger at the behavior of supporters. Sometimes right. We saw it again on Sunday evening in Saint-Étienne, with the invasion of the lawn and the throwing of smoke bombs at the heads of the players. It is unacceptable and dangerous, but what is the relationship with what happened at the Stade de France?
This is not a fiasco of the supporters, but of the organization. All the testimonies agree. Right out of the RER, it was nonsense. Bottlenecks that prevent the crowd from advancing, supporters with tickets prevented from entering the stadium, people without tickets who climbed the gates, policemen using tear gas indiscriminately. Chaos, and we can count ourselves lucky that it didn’t end worse.
Many security questions
So who is to blame ? We will have to go beyond low level simplism. No, England fans are not a bunch of beer-hungry, brawling hooligans who all want to go home without tickets. Liverpool have appeared in several Champions League finals in recent years, and this is the first time we have seen such a mess. The English example of the stands, we use it when it suits us. Why did we not know how to manage?
Then, the young locals, who tried to return without a ticket. They take advantage of the sounding board of this final to sow chaos. But why do they reach the stadium, why are there no more distant security cordons? And then these police officers who use their tear gas faster than their shadow, are they trained in the management of the supporters, in the crowd movements of a final? We can doubt it.
“France no longer knows how to manage the movement of supporters”
France will have to admit its mistakes, because the Paris 2024 Olympics are coming quickly. Putting the blame on others will get us nowhere in view of these Olympic and Paralympic Games, the opening ceremony of which will take place in the heart of the city. What seemed the best of ideas can be scary today. Will we be able to manage? The data is still very different between games and a football match.
What is problematic is the question of supporters. By failing to deal with this issue, the public authorities find themselves helpless. “We don’t want to deal with it”, this refers to these prefectural decrees which prohibit, week after week, the movement of supporters. By dint of prohibiting, we no longer know how to do it. France no longer knows how to manage the movement of supporters. So let’s go, let’s analyze all the shortcomings, at all levels, so that everyone recognizes their mistakes. This is the only way to be able to correct them. There are two years left before Paris 2024, and an eternity before the next Champions League final in France.