French Senate says Champions League final chaos caused by a series of glitches

The Senate has yet to release the report at the time of writing.

Senator Laurent Lafont, president of the Commission for Culture, Education and Communications, which co-authored the report, blamed the violent scenes in the finale for “a series of failures that occurred in a rather vague administrative structure and decision-making system.”

“These problems are not caused by the number of people in the immediate vicinity of the stadium,” he said. “Things didn’t go badly because Liverpool supporters accompanied their team.”

The senators blamed the lack of “waiting” of several institutions, including the French police and the UEFA European Football Association. Senator François-Noel Buffet, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which co-authored the report, pointed to the failure of the review process in particular.

“It only took 10,000 to 15,000 people to make the verification process impossible. Even if there were no more fans than there were seats in the stadium, the situation could be the same, causing the same chaos and resulting in tragedies that we, fortunately, therefore, this failure is related to the decisions made by the police,” said Buffett.

According to Lafont, the number of counterfeit tickets was “10 times the usual average”, stating that “UEFA’s ticketing management has proven to be inadequate”.

People try to climb over a gate near the Stade de France as kickoff is delayed during the 2022 UEFA Champions League Final.

Lafont also refuted arguments put forward by French Interior Minister Gérard Darmanin “namely, that the riots caused were due to a massive influx of spectators and a large number of counterfeit tickets.” He added that “these two arguments exist, but they are not the cause of failures.”

“Obviously we offer our regrets and apologies for what happened,” Lafon said, adding that the supporters were the “real victims” of the chaos.

There was widespread criticism of the treatment of fans by the French authorities who arrived for the game in May. Photos and videos circulating on social media show Liverpool supporters crowding into fenced-off areas as police fire tear gas.

In early June, UEFA issued an apology to “all spectators who had to endure or witness frightening and disturbing events” ahead of the match. In addition, the governing body said it had organized an independent review to “identify the shortcomings and responsibilities of all organizations involved in the organization of the final” and the final report should be published on the UEFA website.