Macron’s multicultural France experiences mass riots and assaults at Liverpool-Real Madrid Champions League final

Scenes of mass chaos broke out during a match between Liverpool and Real Madrid in Paris.
By Olivier Bault
14 Min Read

After incredible scenes of chaos in Paris over the weekend, many are now wondering whether France is still capable of safely organizing the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

The Champions League football final between Liverpool and Real Madrid was originally supposed to take place in St. Petersburg, Russia, but President Emmanuel Macron had proposed UEFA to host it in Paris after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The decision resulted in disaster after gangs from the French capital’s ethnic suburbs along with illegal immigrants showed up in large numbers, resulting in mass assaults and riot scenes at the Stade de France during the Liverpool-Real Madrid Champions League final. The scenes show African and Middle Eastern men indiscriminately assaulting men, women and children, and even disabled people, as well as the mayor of Liverpool who was also present.

The French police’s reaction, according to witnesses and as evidenced from videos captured at the scene, was to use tear gas against the peaceful and disciplined English fans who had bought their tickets at a high price for the match. Although not assaulted by French law enforcement officers themselves, the Spanish fans standing on the other side of the stadium also fell victim to local thugs.

And as if that were not enough, the French government now refuses to take responsibility: It blames the English fans, claiming there were 40,000 false ticket holders at the entrance of the stadium and that the sale of false tickets was done on an industrial scale.

However, the people seeking to enter without any ticket seem to have been mainly young Arabs and Africans as well as other representatives of ethnic minorities with an immigrant background who are in the majority in Saint-Denis, the city that houses the Stade de France. Already in 2016, the organization and especially the security controls to access the stadiums of the European Cup, amid a wave of Islamist attacks, had, in the opinion of witnesses, left much to be desired.

But never before had there been such chaos and police brutality, apparently mainly directed at people who were being assaulted by local thugs, as during last Saturday’s Champions League final.

The image that emerges is that of a France that has been completely overrun by mass immigration and that no longer controls some of its neighborhoods.

However, on Sunday and Monday, the French public media carefully avoided mentioning the attacks by organized ethnic gangs, who targeted fans attending the Liverpool-Real Madrid match. Canadian philosopher Mathieu Bock-Côté commented on the CNews television channel about the French media’s silence on the perpetrators, referring back to how news was previously reported during communist rule: “Like in the USSR, the population deciphers the lies of the government and the media. When they say ‘a young person’ or ‘a sensitive neighborhood,’ we all spontaneously understand what they are talking about.”

This time, however, the “lies” of the French government and in this case of Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin as well as Sports and Olympics Games Minister Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, who blamed the Liverpool club and its supporters for the situation, provoked strong reactions in Great Britain and Spain.

Liverpool’s CEO has accused French political leaders of trying to “shift blame,” while the club’s chairman has written to Minister Oudéra-Castéra demanding an apology. The mayor of Liverpool, who was waiting in line with his ticket to see his team play, says he was himself assaulted and had his cell phone and personal belongings stolen.

In a statement after the game, Mayor Steve Rotheram wrote:

“As a lifelong fan, and the representative for the Liverpool city region, I was outraged by the treatment of Liverpool fans at the hands of the French police. The scenes outside Stade de France, before and after the game, were completely chaotic, with what appeared to be a breakdown of control and communication. What happened was difficult to witness. While fans travelled to the ground hoping for the night of their lives, it appears that the Gendarmerie went looking for conflict. (…) It was disappointing how readily other teams’ supporters appear to have swallowed the lies and misinformation being perpetuated by UEFA and the French authorities – especially when social media has been awash with images that show the real truth.”

Meanwhile, according to many witnesses and as evidence by videos circulating on the Internet, the same stewards who blocked the entrance to fans with real tickets, were also letting in people who seemed to be neighborhood residents they knew and who clearly did not have tickets for the game. Among these local people, there were even some individuals who were apparently in Syria just a few photographed with Islamic terrorists. Such reports demonstrate how security was totally non-existent at the game, as was noted by Spanish MEP and vice president of Vox, Jorge Buxadé, on Twitter.

“France has allowed an immigrant who was shooting weapons in Syria a few days ago to sneak into the final of the Champions [League match]. How many more were there? Security in Europe is compromised due to lack of border control and good politics,” wrote Buxade.

As for the brutal treatment of the British fans by French police forces who were totally ineffective against the thugs who attacked them, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson himself said he was “hugely disappointed” by the way the British fans were treated. A Downing Street spokesman called the footage of British families with children being tear-gassed by police while they were waiting to get inside the stadium “deeply upsetting and concerning”.

After initially appearing to support the French government’s account, UEFA officials called on Monday evening for an independent investigation as demanded by ministers and MPs in the U.K. The U.K. ambassador to France, Menna Rawlings, also protested against the French interior minister’s apparently unfounded accusations against Liverpool fans.

According to Darmanin, “There was massive fraud at an industrial level and the organization of fake tickets, 70 percent of tickets were fake tickets coming into the Stade de France.” 

The French authorities also explained that many Liverpool fans had arrived at the last minute. But again, witnesses contradict this version, saying that they had been there for several hours and were simply not allowed to enter, which is confirmed by videos circulating on social networks.

For the French sports journalist Daniel Riolo, who works for the radio station RMC and television news channel BFM TV, “there are testimonies: Those who were there, those who tell their stories, images, and we see very well that the organization was deficient in several aspects, especially because of poorly trained, incompetent stewards, who had been recruited a week before the event via Facebook, and who did not event meet the requirements for second league matches. They were young people from the suburbs, who were friends with the attackers. It was all nonsense. I don’t believe the story of the counterfeit tickets: The turnstile jammed after the first counterfeit ticket that passed and they never started up again, hence the monstrous crowd that formed.”

[pp id=33492]

Riolo then explains that “at least one thousand thieves, robbers, and bandits assaulted families, threw people to the ground, took everything from them, leaving people outside, unable to attend the game.” In fact, witnesses and even some police officers spoke of several thousand thieves operating in gangs.

On the other hand, says Riolo, “there are also many people who had real tickets and could not get in at all. We were told that they did not arrive in time, and so on. But all this is untrue. The English fans were there two or three hours before, and they behaved remarkably well.”

Riolo warns that “for the Olympic Games (…) there will be insecurity everywhere, this is a door left open: there may be lots of gangs from everywhere who come, who attack people, tourists. On Saturday, the gangs knew that there were more than 50,000 tourists, easy prey to assault, loot, rob. It can happen again very easily.”

The figure of 30,000 to 40,000 Liverpool fans without a valid ticket had been put forward by the police prefect of the city of Paris, Didier Lallement. According to the Médiapart news website, usually rather complacent towards Emmanuel Macron and his government, “even as the images document the failure of the authorities in the organization of the final, several senior officials of the Ministry [of the Interior] expressed their embarrassment to Mediapart after their minister had taken up this lie, even though he had been warned that this figure was not supported by any evidence and was simply not plausible.”

[pp id=31612]

“Never had the police seen such chaos,” Gregory Goupil, secretary-general of the Alliance 93 police union, told the news channel TF1 Info:  “Colleagues have told us they had never seen so many unaccompanied minors, mostly North Africans, clustered and hyperactive. Local criminals were also present, but they were not dominant at all, according to them. One thing is certain, pickpockets came in droves to steal cash, wallets, or phones, sometimes even from the visually impaired or people in wheelchairs.”

There were only a few dozen arrests and almost all of those arrested were quickly released, with only about 15 still in custody on Monday. And “no arrests were made for acts related to trespassing or forged tickets,” the Bobigny prosecutor’s office told TF1 Info. Among the 15 people still under arrest on Monday, there were no Britons, since they were all part of “the 300 to 400 young people present that evening and mentioned by the Paris police prefect” (who were in fact several thousand).

This contradicts the claims of the French interior minister who assured people this weekend that at least half of those arrested were British supporters.

[pp id=19277]

The testimonies about the situation before and after the match speak of police officers and gendarmes indifferent to the ultra-violent aggressions of which the people and families who came to attend the match were victims. Organized gangs beat up innocent people who were knocked down to the ground ten to one; police officers used their tear gas against English supporters without any reason at all, including at the exit of the match, apparently for the simple reason that they were English.

For Marine Le Pen, “Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin has lied and continues to lie. He explains that he did not see what foreign journalists and fans on-site saw very well, that is to say, a horde of criminals who came to loot and assault people.” 

What is worse, according to Le Pen: “The events that took place at the Stade de France are an allegory of all the dangers that weigh on France. Today, we are unable to organize large events free of violence and abuse.”

Macron’s main leftist opponent, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, is also worried about the approaching 2024 Olympics: “What happened yesterday at the match is disturbing. We are not sufficiently prepared for Paris 2024. The methods of Minister Darmanin and the [police] prefect are not the right ones.”

Share This Article