Under Fire for Chaos at Soccer Final, France Rejects Blame for Failures

May 31, 2022

French authorities faced a firestorm of criticism on Monday following the chaotic scenes of confusion and violence at the Champions league final between Real Madrid and Liverpool near Paris over the weekend, tarnishing France’s image as a capable host ahead of major sporting events like the 2024 Summer Olympics.

But the French government has acknowledged few failings, doubling down instead on its assertion that the chaos had been caused primarily by tens of thousands of Liverpool fans who converged on the Stade de France, the stadium north of Paris where the game was held, with fake tickets or no tickets at all.

Gérald Darmanin, the French interior minister, said at a news conference on Monday that the “root cause” of the chaos was a “massive, industrial and organized fraud of fake tickets” — roughly 30,000 to 40,000, by his account, a figure he said was supported by UEFA, European soccer’s governing body.

“Obviously there is nothing to be proud of with what we saw Saturday evening,” Mr. Darmanin said, but he praised French police for preventing people from being injured or crushed to death.

Source: The New York Times
(Photo by: Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)