Questions have been asked why CCTV of the chaos outside the Stade de France on the night of the Champions League final was automatically removed.
The footage – which apparently showed police spraying fans and families during the match against Real Madrid last month – was not handed over to investigators and has now disappeared, said French senators who are look into the management of the evening.
They demanded that the state take responsibility for what happened and identify the culprits behind the mishandling of crowds.
Stade de France security appears to have been overwhelmed by the size of the crowd, leaving many fans waiting outside the pitch for hours.
French authorities initially charged what they claimed were 30,000 to 40,000 English fans who they said showed up “without valid tickets”.
But in an attempt to understand what happened on the ground, Sky News geotagged several videos posted on social mediawhich showed fans channeled, climbing over fences and targeted with pepper spray.
Sky Sports News chief reporter Kaveh Solhekolwas among those gassed at the stadium.
The fiasco drew worldwide attention to the heavy-handed French police and raised questions about how France handles security at major events. liverpool FC has requested a “formal investigation” into the events.
Senator Laurent Lafon, who heads a commission seeking explanations for what happened, said: “The general impression of how the Champions League final unfolded is a lack of preparation, a lack of preparation ahead of time. , a lack of responsiveness during the events and questionable management after the events.
“The gravity of the events (…) requires a state response,” he said.
All I want from UEFA is an apology
What really happened at the Stade de France?
He did not name specific culprits but noted that all those responsible for handling the situation “failed at one time or another”, and that all worked for the government.
The automatic deletion of surveillance video gives “the impression that there is no one responsible, and since there is no one responsible, there is no one guilty”, he said. declared.
He and another senator spoke at the Stade de France to summarize the commission’s work so far. They did not directly address police brutality.
A senior government official tasked with issuing a report on what happened said security measures should have been adapted as crowds converged.
Questioned by senators, Michel Cadot called for exploring new means of crowd control in stadiums, such as mounted police and artificial intelligence systems to monitor and predict crowd movements, particularly in view of the Paris 2024 Olympics. .
shift the blame
The Paris police chief has admitted the evening was a “failure” but he and the Home Secretary maintain that the police were reacting to the presence of tens of thousands of fans without tickets or with fake tickets near the stadium.
Witnesses and the mayor of Liverpool have disputed the version of the French authorities and say that the French authorities seek to shift the blame.
UEFA are also investigating the incidents that marked one of the biggest matches in world sport.
Real Madrid beat Liverpool 1-0 to win the final.