Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
Liam Thorp

French media not accepting government claims about Liverpool fans

French media and journalists are continuing to question the narratives from senior government ministers about what went wrong at Saturday's Champions League Final in Paris.

The front page of today's Liberation newspaper features an image of interior minister Gérald Darmanin - who has claimed as many as 40,000 Liverpool fans turned up for the game with fake tickets after an 'industrial and organised fraud' - with a pinocchio-style nose. The headline alongside it reads: "Darmanin remakes the match.'

The article goes on to state: "The Minister of the Interior persists and signs his version and continues to point the finger at British supporters. Across the Channel, the anger does not pass. Leaders, supporters and journalists demand an apology."

READ MORE: Liverpool CEO Billy Hogan 'horrified' by reports from thousands of fans around treatment in Paris

Those claims have been widely rebuked by fans and journalists from England who were caught up in the chaotic and dangerous scenes before and after the game on Saturday, but also from the media in France. Yesterday, major French daily newspaper Le Monde published a piece with the headline 'Darmanin's lie revives memories of Hillsborough disaster for Liverpool fans.'

Elise Stern is a journalist for French TV channel TF1, she was in Liverpool this week to cover the reaction in the city to what unfolded in Paris. She told the ECHO that the media in France is struggling to accept the claims made by their government ministers.

She said: "The media have access to the social networks and all the videos and the footage posted online. For any event, especially when there are two different narratives, you would want to question the numbers.

"I think the numbers of 30-40,000 supporters being in the area without tickets or with fake tickets, this number is quite huge when you know the capacity of the Stade de France. So obviously you would want to question and find evidence for that. There is a lot of work with the transport authority to try and do this.

"From the numbers the transport operator is providing, combined with coach companies and people who might have driven to the match, it feels like the number of 40,000 people, where does it come from? The French media are trying to question these numbers."

Elise Stern is a journalist for French television channel TF1 who was in Liverpool to speak with LFC fans about the Paris final (Liverpool Echo)

Darmanin and Minister of Sport Amélie Oudéa-Castéra will appear before a hearing at the French Senate later today to explain what went wrong to create such a dangerous situation at the final on Saturday. They will also be asked to explain the veracity of their claims about Liverpool fans.

It's not just the media in France that are questioning and criticising the government ministers for their response to Saturday's chaotic scenes in Paris. Yesterday, Richard Bouigue, the deputy mayor of the 12th arrondissement in Paris, penned an open letter to Liverpool FC fans expressing "deep regret" for the events that took place during and after the final at Stade de France.

He said he "bitterly regretted that LFC fans were singled out for criticism and that they were said to be solely responsible for the failure to organise the final. He added: "The time for official denial is over, the time for apologies must be imposed. We owe you - and ourselves as well - a serious and thorough investigation, to be carried out in the next few days involving representatives of the Liverpool supporters and the competent English authorities."

Calling the events at the final a "real fiasco" he added: "All light must be shed, the responsibilities identified and improvements made so that this type of chaos, which must have revived the Hillsborough tragedy for many fans, never happens again."

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.