CCTV footage at Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid has been deleted
CCTV footage that may have justified or undermined French authorities’ controversial claim that 30-40,000 Liverpool fans descended on fake tickets to the Champions League final in Paris has been lost.
Reports in France suggest that authorities did not obtain the video footage from the Stade de France within the legal timeframe and they have now been removed.
French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin has been heavily criticized for venting ‘fantastic’ claims that up to 70 percent of all tickets sold for the mismanaged match at the Stade de France, between Liverpool and Real Madrid, were fakes.
It is alleged that Liverpool supporters were responsible for the fiasco at the stadium in the French capital on May 28, which saw chaotic and dangerous scenes outside the ground before and after the match.
But on Thursday, Paris police chief Didier Lallement admitted in evidence at a parliamentary hearing that he had fabricated the figure of 40,000 counterfeit tickets from feedback he received from his agents and transport officials.
He admitted the number had “no scientific virtue” but was based on his perception.
Still, Lallement insisted there were “far more people” than the stadium could hold, claiming that thousands of those standing outside with fake tickets were “out of sight of CCTV cameras.”
Police hold back Liverpool fans as chefs say large numbers of people holding fake tickets caused bottlenecks – but fans say faulty turnstiles were the cause
However, after Lallement’s appearance at the hearing, it emerged that French authorities failed to claim key CCTV footage from the stadium’s surroundings, which could have shed more light on what happened.
“CCTV footage of Stade de France showing ‘extremely violent’ videos has been removed,” French broadcaster BFM TV reported.
“They were not claimed by the court within the legal term of 7 days.”
Erwan Le Prévost, director of institutional relations for the French Football Association, told the channel: ‘The images will be available for seven days. They are then automatically destroyed. We should have had a claim to distribute them to the different populations, the images are extremely violent.’
Fans were trapped outside the Stade de France for two hours before being hit with tear gas by French police
Whatever the images revealed, they are now lost and there seems to be little hard evidence to back up the claims of industrial counterfeiting, or the suggestion that it was this that led to a crush outside the Stade de France prior to kick-off .
“Maybe I was wrong,” said Mr Lament at today’s parliamentary hearing in Paris, adding: “It was clearly a failure because people were being pushed and attacked even though we had a duty to protect them. It is also a failure, because the image of the country has been shaken up.’
Questioned further about his claim that up to 40,000 Liverpool fans showed up without actual tickets, he went on to say: ‘I never claimed the figure was entirely correct, but it seemed to reflect the situation around the stadium.’
Before adding, “The figure has no scientific value, but it came from feedback from police and public transport officials.”
Paris Police Chief Didier Lallement testified today at a Senate hearing in the French capital about the security operation ahead of the UEFA Champions League final.
Liverpool and Real Madrid supporters, as well as VIP guests and sponsors, were caught up in terrifying and dangerous scenes outside the Stade de France at the UEFA showpiece.
Despite valid tickets, many supporters were not allowed to enter the stadium.
And in the ensuing chaos, before and after the UEFA showpiece, which Real Madrid won 1-0, supporters and attendees were gunned down with tear gas by French police, including children, and forced to take up the gauntlet of local youths. who wanted to attack and rob them. †
UEFA has apologized to supporters and announced its own independent inquiry into the chaotic events in Paris and a special inquiry by the Mail on Sunday revealed how the complete collapse of public order – with supporters targeted by gangs – almost to resulted in fatalities.
Shocking video footage has emerged of a nine-year-old boy crying in the streets of Paris after his father was hit last night with tear gas fired by French police in the wake of the Champions League final. Football author and Liverpool fan Carl Clemente posted the clip on Twitter showing his young son sobbing as he desperately tried to wipe away the tears that streamed from his eyes after the attack
The MoS investigation suggested that a massive IT outage contributed to the chaos in Paris, contradicting stories of the French police and government, who wanted to blame fans for the scenes.
Mr Lallement used his performance at today’s hearing to also allay concerns about police tactics being used at the stadium. He was largely unrepentant, claiming that had he not ordered the tear gas supporters they would have stormed the stadium.
“The only way was to gas people,” he said.
Grim footage showed huge clouds of tear gas suffocating supporters as riot police sprayed others in the face with pepper spray before the game.
“I am fully aware that people of good faith were gassed, sometimes even families,” Mr Lallement told the meeting.
Gerald Darmanin (right) said filtering out the fake tickets had caused long delays and dangerous crushes for Liverpool fans entering the Stade de France after Sports Minister Amelie Oudea-Castera (left) blamed the club for the chaos
French officials under fire for chaos at the Champions League final in Paris claimed tens of thousands of fans showed up with fake tickets, holding two nearly identical passes while claiming one was a fake (right)
But he added: ‘I’m sorry, but there were no other means. The only way was to gas people. I’ve asked to use gas.’
Lallement said that without the use of tear gas, the only option would have been to attack the crowd.
He added: “I think it would have been a mistake to sue people. It would have been devastating.’
The kick-off was postponed as the situation outside the stadium turned into chaos.
“I am sorry, on behalf of the police, if vulnerable people were affected, but it was the only way to prevent the invasion of the stadium”
Riot police hold fans back at stadium entrance as supporters complained lack of open gates, staffing and ticket sales issues that left some waiting hours to get in
“I therefore confirm that the decisions taken were the only ones to guarantee the organization of the race and to avoid any serious accident.”
‘There were no accidents with Liverpool supporters in Paris, although some were quite drunk’
In the aftermath of the match, the Interior Minister, Mr. Darmanin, gave a press conference along with the Paris police chief, who showed off what they believed to be nearly identical fake and real tickets to prove their case.
At the time, they didn’t say how they determined one ticket was fake, amid reports that people with real tickets were being turned away because of faulty turnstiles.
Ronan Evain, head of the Football Supporters Europe association who attended the match, quickly dismissed claims of up to 40,000 fake tickets in circulation as ‘utter fantasy’.
FSE observers had noticed fake tickets being sold, he said, but described the problem as “marginal” and nothing unusual for a grand finale.