Scenes of chaos. Spectators blocked at the entrance to the stadium, tear gas, attempted intrusion by climbing barriers… Saturday, May 28, the party which was to precede the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool at the Stade de France was spoiled by problems of access to the Dionysian enclosure for tens of thousands of supporters of the two teams.
As a result, the start of the gala match between the two best European teams of the season was delayed by 36 minutes. From 6:30 p.m., many ticket-holding fans were blocked around the stadium, before accessing the first security checkpoints, noted a journalist from Le Monde. At around 8 p.m., tempers began to heat up, with a few dozen supporters not hesitating to scale the last access barriers inside the sports enclosure around 9 p.m. – theoretical time for the start of the meet. The police then used tear gas, Agence France-Presse observed.
“The situation was close to disaster when a bottleneck formed, following a bad referral of supporters when they exited the RER D and then problems opening and closing the doors of entrance to the stadium, explains a spectator present at the scene. People had been waiting wisely for hours when the crowd movements increased. Some – even children and the elderly – were gassed or crushed against barriers. »
Long sparse, the stands welcoming in particular fans of the “Reds” finally filled up little by little, until around 10:15 p.m. , were acerbic about this organizational “fiasco”.
The 2024 Olympics in sight
Earlier, other supporters had tried to force a first filtering barrage of police. “Do not force entry to the Stade de France”, warned on Twitter in French, English and Spanish the Paris Police Headquarters, which had deployed 6,800 police officers, gendarmes and firefighters to ensure the security of the match, with an eye on the thousands of Liverpool ‘Reds’ fans who came without tickets.
This setback spoils the party started during the day in Paris and Saint-Denis in the fan zones of the two teams. Nearly 30,000 “Reds” fans notably painted the Cours de Vincennes, in the French capital, red in a good-natured atmosphere – apart from an incident in a café, the terrace of which was charged with batons by the police.
Above all, it questions France’s ability to manage crowd movements and ensure security during major sporting events. The police system put in place on Saturday was to serve as a test for the Rugby World Cup, organized in France at the end of 2023 and the Paris Olympic Games in 2024. The competence of the French authorities was found faulty on Saturday in front of hundreds of millions of viewers around the world.