“It is obviously only in football and, particularly, only in football with certain English clubs, that there are these eventss”. Let us recognize that the Minister was not entirely wrong. We will leave aside his shortcut full of nauseous innuendos on “certain English clubs”, even if it is curious that we did not have bemoaned similar incidents when Chelsea beat Manchester City at Porto last year or Liverpool won against Tottenham three years ago in Madrid; however, there is “obviously“, “than in football“, that we are witnessing the terrible scenes that we saw on Saturday in Saint-Denis. In France in particular, although this precision escaped Gérard Darmanin, who nevertheless spoke only a few hours after the explosion of violence which made around thirty wounded at Geoffroy-Guichard.
The raw finding – “only in football” – could have been the prelude to this question: “why is that?”, and to an examination of conscience to which football, and “singularly“, French football, should proceed. The question, however, was not asked, because the answer was already found. When incidents occur around a football match, victims and culprits merge. These are the This fallback position has long been the one the establishment chooses to occupy when it feels threatened.
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Angry Liverpool fan stranded at Stade de France ahead of Champions League final
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Marked by Hillsborough, Reds fans did not panic
When 97 Liverpool supporters perished in Hillsborough, the British government, supported by certain complicit media, quickly slandered the innocents, made them murderers, and, thirty-three years later, if the truth was out day, the real culprits have still not been punished. As for Saint-Denis, this sleight of hand is doomed to failure. The exhibits we have are not those that can be locked up in a cupboard in a police station or a judge’s office. Hundreds of films shot by the fans themselves – and some media -, immediately shared on social networks, are all implacable testimonies of the almost total failure of the control protocol put in place by the organizers.
When you watch these films, one thing is obvious: Saint-Denis could have become another Olembe, when at least eight supporters who wanted to attend the round of 16 of CAN between Cameroon and the Comoros died on January 24th. Saint-Denis could have become another Hillsborough, and if this was not the case, it is precisely because these Liverpool supporters, whose memory of the 1989 tragedy is still as vivid, although gnawed by fear, do not did not give in to panic. There were so few of these ‘excesses’ that the minister did not mention any, except for the intrusion of a few barrier climbers, most of whom were apparently French.
To listen to the public authorities, the cause of the chaos at the Stade de France was neither the insufficient number of stewards, recruited blindly and “trained“on the go, neither the proven brutality of the police for whom a supporter is a threat, nor the disorganization of the fan filtering system, which was evident several hours before the kick-off of the final. No, c he was the counterfeit tickets that ‘thousands’ of Reds supporters had procured, ‘a massive, industrial and organized fraud’.
Chaos at the Stade de France
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UEFA also responsible?
That these forged notes exist, no one doubts, and they had not been printed at home by some enterprising free riders; they had been put into circulation by counterfeiters on a parallel market which everyone knows exists, but which no one does anything to hinder. However, if it exists, isn’t it firstly because UEFA, in this specific case, only allocates a little more than half of the places for the final to the two clubs which play it?
preferring to distribute them to its many sponsors and broadcasters, to member associations of the confederation and to agencies specializing in events for wealthy spectators?
What is a supporter for these people? A wallet to empty, and a potential offender. They stun him by selling him replica jerseys at 100 euros and more each, multiple subscriptions to pay channels and prohibitive tickets; they also stun him a little with truncheons when he comes out of passages that have been studded for him.We admit that it is essential. Because what we sell is not just the spectacle on the playground. It’s also the choreography of the tifos, the symphony of voices mixed in a song, and even those smoke bombs that we ban, but whose blazes of color are so beautiful in the photos that celebrate the fervor of the crowds. “Football is nothing without the fans
“, Jock Stein had said; “nothing”, not even a product that can be sold to broadcasters, although the great Celtic coach had other ideas and ideals in mind than the excessive exploitation of popular passions without which UEFA would only have crumbs to distribute to clubs participating in its competitions.
The Stade de France gave rise to catastrophic scenes during the Champions League final
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These forgotten ultras
We can refuse to demonize the supporters without making them angels. There are these hard cores of small hits and big nuts that rot the fruit. We could extricate them from football; elsewhere, it has been done, including at these “certain English clubs” accused by the Minister of the Interior. But that would mean sitting at the table with those other ultra-understood supporters who dream of throwing the troublemakers in the trash, listening to what remedies they offer, who are the first victims of inaction, and this, there is still no question.
An FFF with an archaic structure, confided in the successes of the Blues, and a League quick to congratulate itself on a wonderful contract with CVC, one more place in the Champions League and the assured presence of Kylian Mbappé for a few seasons moreover at PSG, apparently have no desire to question the causes of the evil that is eating away at the football for which they are responsible, and of which the near-disaster of Saint Denis is an extension, not an exception imported from abroad.
Let us agree: it would be absurd to reject a share of direct responsibility for what we experienced in Saint Denis on the FFF and the League, which we will not say about UEFA, which we cannot forget that it had also received the keys to the catastrophic organization of the Euro 2020 final at Wembley. It is wrong to insist that the discourse and action – or lack of action – of the bodies of our football perpetuate a climate and a system in which the supporter suffers from a presumption of guilt, which is shared by the prefects and the forces of order and, in this case, by some members of the government. This is how we create an environment in which what we are experiencing on Saturday night can happen, an environment in which Father Ubu, whose two main character traits are greed and cowardice, would have felt on the ground familiar.
Liverpool and Real Madrid received an allocation of 19,618 tickets each, plus 382 premium tickets, the cheapest of which cost 500 euros. Real has more than 97,000 socios, of which 65,000 are subscribers. Anfield’s capacity is 53,394 spectators, of which 27,000 are subscribers
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