The Minister of the Interior has “sincerely apologized” to Liverpool fans. But he reaffirmed that 110,000 people were present in and around the Stade de France, 35,000 more than the planned capacity.
At a hearing on Wednesday, June 1, before the Senate’s law commission, Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin acknowledged that it was “obvious that things could have been better organized,” while numerous incidents marred the Champions League final on Saturday at the Stade de France.
“It is obvious that this celebration of sport has been spoiled,” he added. “And we sincerely regret the sometimes-unacceptable outbursts that took place,” said the minister, under fire after his statements on the number of fake tickets.
Tear gas used “disproportionately”
Gérald Darmanin “apologized very sincerely” to Liverpool supporters for “the great damage, including on children” caused by tear gas, used in a “disproportionate way”, ensuring that “sanctions will be taken”.
In France and in England, the controversy remains strong. The executive director of the English club Billy Hogan announced that the platform for collecting testimonies from Reds supporters, set up on Monday, had already received 5,000 responses in twenty-four hours. And what he read “horrified” him: “Men, women and children, able-bodied and less able-bodied people were treated indiscriminately during the day on Saturday”, he regretted.
The “British and Spanish citizens will be able to file a complaint in their country from Monday” and they will also be able to refer to the General Inspectorate of the National Police (IGPN), Darmanin said. “I personally saw two facts, where obviously (…) the use of tear gas was contrary to the rules of use,” he said, adding that he had “requested sanctions from the police prefect for these two officials of the forces of order. Two people have also seized the IGPN, the “police of the police” after the events of Saturday, said Darmanin, without giving details.