We don’t know if it was the presence of the fan representatives in front of him that made him say that. But from the start of the debates, François-Noël Buffet, president of the Senate law commission, decided in one sentence: “Let’s be clear and blunt, because it’s now clear: England fans were not the cause of the incidents. » The message is unequivocal and undermines the version of the government, authorities and authorities.
This Tuesday afternoon, it was the turn of the supporters to be auditioned at the Luxembourg Palace, three weeks after the launch of the investigations. And you have to believe that, as the saying goes, the best came in the end. For an hour and a half, the “first victims” of the fiasco of Saint-Denis gave testimonies “overwhelming”to quote several senators present.
The resignation of Gérald Darmanin demanded, the maintenance of the 2024 Olympics in Paris questioned
The speech, in particular, by Ted Morris, chairman of the Liverpool Disabled Supporters Association, was very powerful. Poignant, even. “Since May 28th (date of the Champions League final), my vision of Paris is no longer the same, he asserted. It is the worst experience ever, the greatest scenes of distress seen in my entire life. I don’t want to come here again until things change. » He then illustrated his point by quoting the story of many affected members: disabled people crushed against the railings, children and women in wheelchairs gassed, an individual pushed to the ground and starving for air, an autistic boy separated from his dad…
A total of 9,000 complaints are said to have been passed on by supporters to the Liverpool club. A report will be issued once they have all been compiled.
“Fans were calling us to complain and denounce the chaos. They were scared. And nobody helped us. Everyone is traumatized Morris insisted. What was supposed to be a fantastic family trip to Paris turned into a horrifying experience. The treatment given was shocking. We were treated like animals. This must be a disgrace to the authorities. We felt completely abandoned. It was truly terrifying and the authorities will never be forgiven for what they did. They must accept the responsibility that is theirs, otherwise the Olympics cannot take place in Paris (in 2024). »
According to this group leader, Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin is the “shame of the government”. “He lied and that added to our pain and trauma. Withdraw your groundless accusations and have the decency to resign, he called. Thirty-three years ago, the authorities lied about the Hillsborough tragedy. His speech reminded us of that. But you have to have the courage to tell the truth, even to the most powerful. Until it is revealed in broad daylight, we will not be respected. »
“We were treated as we are treated all year round, which is to say as a threat. This explains the failures of the safety device. It is urgent to get out of it, to learn from our European neighbors and to bring ourselves up to date. »
In the process, Joe Blott, president of the Spirit of Shankly Federation, who had also made the trip to the United Kingdom especially to be heard, gave a layer. “We are here to see justice done, he launched. The police force stuck to the 1980s thinking that Liverpool supporters were all hooligans. These are hurtful and false prejudices, to hide their own failure. To hear the French authorities repeating the same kinds of lies as during the Hillsborough disaster caused the fans tremendous heartache and pain. It’s a heartbreaker. Why put the responsibility on the supporters as a first instinct, when their heroic behavior succeeded in saving lives? »
Emilio Dumas, Franco-Spanish and Real Madrid socio for thirty years, also shared this rejection of the charges. “On the night of the match, we were very worried rather than happy about the victory. Three weeks later, I still have a lot more bad memories than good ones. Nobody was quiet to leave the stadium. I have never seen such an inactive attitude of the police towards the help requested. I was really scared. These stories shame the image of France,” he confided, in video.
Real Madrid supporters at the Stade de France. (F. Faugère/The Team)
In addition and in summary, Ronan Evain, Managing Director of Football Supporters Europe, concluded: “The supporters were victims of three things: old representations, an archaic mobility plan and a bad French approach to supporters. We were treated the way we are treated all year round, which is to say as a threat. This explains the failures of the safety device. It is urgent to get out of it, to learn from our European neighbors and to bring ourselves up to date. »