“Regrettable” incidents and a spoiled party, but the worst was avoided, according to Gérald Darmanin. Guest of the TF1 newspaper to explain the failures during the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool, at the Stade de France, on Saturday, the Minister of the Interior defended the police, stressing that there had been “no death or serious injury”.
The minister blamed the counterfeiters, with, according to him, between 30,000 and 40,000 people “with a forged ticket or without a ticket” who tried to access the stadium. And assured that the Minister of Sports had asked that the major sports competitions now switch to “tamper-proof tickets”, that is to say “totally digital”.
70% counterfeit banknotes during pre-filtering
According to Gérald Darmanin, in addition to the 80,000 spectators, there were between 30,000 and 40,000 additional people on the forecourt of the stadium. Brandishing a counterfeit ticket and a genuine one, the minister explained that the differences were barely visible to the naked eye. According to him, during the pre-filtering operations of the stewards, “70% of the people checked, that is to say 120,000 people, saw their ticket being false”.
These figures are difficult to verify, because it is not known how many people were checked initially – and whether this sample included more counterfeit tickets, especially on the RER D side. But they seem exaggerated, with, in theory, a maximum possible of a third of falsified tickets (40,000 out of 120,000), according to figures from Gérald Darmanin.
“Exclusively with the British Tribune”
Anyway, the result is known: a “very important traffic jam”, with a bottleneck at the level of the checkpoints. According to the Minister, the prefecture therefore took the decision to lift the pre-filtering, which caused a significant delay. “Of course, the evening was dramatic, but there were no deaths or serious injuries,” insists Gérald Darmanin.
According to the minister, these ticket problems affected “exclusively the British stand”, with 97% of Real Madrid supporters seated in the stadium at 9 p.m. against 50% on the Liverpool side. But Gérald Darmanin refrains from asserting that the counterfeiters were English, and “welcomes” the opening of an investigation by the public prosecutor.
Hundreds of arrests
According to the Minister of the Interior, the police “did their job” and “arrested” a hundred “troublemakers”, including pickpockets. He denounces “the nonsense said on social networks, with strong insults against the inhabitants of Seine-Saint-Denis”.
In detail, there were 29 arrests in the stadium, and “half were British”. Of the 52 arrests outside the stadium, there were “40 French and 12 foreigners: a Spaniard, an Italian, eight Algerians, a Moroccan and a Tunisian”. Gérald Darmanin concludes: “The extreme right must not use this unfortunate event for its nauseating campaign. »