The end of the afternoon does not look comfortable for the executive. Four days after the chaos around the Stade de France during the Champions League final, two of his ministers will have to descend into the political arena to explain themselves. Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, who has been targeting English fans since Sunday, and the new head Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, Minister of Sports, are expected in the Senate, dominated by the right.
The two ministers will be heard jointly for two hours by the Law and Culture Commissions from 5 p.m., during a session open to the press and broadcast on the Senate website. With the approach of the legislative elections, the affair took a highly political turn, in particular on the French capacity to organize major sporting events one year from the Rugby World Cup-2023 and two years from the Olympic Games in Paris.
An expected “speech of truth”
François-Noël Buffet (LR), president of the law commission, warned a few hours before the hearing on FranceInfo, that he was waiting for a “speech of truth”. In a joint statement signed with the chairman of the Culture Committee, he deemed Tuesday “important to ensure that all the lessons of this evening [étaient] drawn quickly to reassure the world about France’s ability to host major events”.
But until then, the controversy remains lively around the device for maintaining order on the sidelines of this match, won by Real Madrid (1-0) against Liverpool. Liverpool club president Tom Werner expressed his indignation in a letter to Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, after his remarks and those of Gérald Darmanin, who have been repeating since Saturday evening that British supporters are largely responsible for the incidents, with a “massive, industrial and organized fraud of counterfeit banknotes”.
The figures of Gérald Darmanin
A difficult accusation to hear for a club and its supporters marked by the horrible memories of the Hillsborough disaster which killed 97 people in 1989 in a crowd movement. Reds fans had long been blamed for this before the bad decisions of the police were acknowledged. “Your comments are irresponsible, unprofessional and totally disrespectful,” Tom Werner wrote in his letter, a copy of which was obtained by the Liverpool Echo daily.
On Tuesday, the Minister of Sports opened the door to the beginning of a mea culpa: “We have Liverpool supporters who were completely in order, whose evening was either ruined, or some were unable to attend this match, and there we clearly owe them an apology. However, the figures put forward by the French government remain highly criticized, in England as in France. According to Gérald Darmanin, “30,000 to 40,000 English supporters found themselves at the Stade de France, either without a ticket or with falsified tickets”. For the time being, the FFF and UEFA have estimated the number of “fake tickets scanned” at “2,800” on Saturday, according to sources familiar with the matter, confirming information from RMC Sports.
A “serious lie”, denounced Marine Le Pen on Wednesday, the far-right presidential candidate, believing that Gérald Darmanin “should consider on his own that he must leave”. In addition, a note from the National Division for the Fight against Hooliganism, dated May 25, warned that “about 50,000 English supporters present in the French capital will not be ticket holders”.