After a week, the stadium “scandal” is still a big topic in France, with new and frightening stories of the breakdown in law and order after the event ended.
UFC fighter Paddy Pimblett, who stated he had “never been more afraid in my life… as when I got out of that ground on Saturday night,” is among the Liverpool supporters whose translated testimony has been extensively circulated on social media.
“At least in a cage, it’s one on one,” the mixed martial artist explained.
“There were 30 man groupings roaming about in large packs. Machetes, knives, bars, and bats were among the weapons carried by some of them. People were pinned to the ground and their watches were snatched.
“People’s purses were being snatched from them by [thieves], who would grab the bag from them and then slash the [strap] with a knife.
“The only thing I can think of to equate it to is a movie like The Purge, in which you have 12 hours to do whatever you want. There were no laws in place.”
The Purge is a dystopian American dystopia in which all crimes, including murder, are decriminalized for half a day every year.
The Real Madrid football club yesterday joined those demanding for a probe into the violence directed at its supporters, whom it described as “helpless and defenseless.”
“Many of our supporters have been assaulted, harassed, robbed, and mugged. Because to their injuries, several had to spend the night in the hospital “In a statement, the club said.
“Nothing like that” has never been seen before, according to the leader of a French police union.
“Locals were the majority of those passing through the turnstiles at first, but other profiles appeared fast. Foreigners, ultra-violent characters from who knows where, juveniles or pseudo-minors. After that, everything changed “Synergie-officiers’ Patrice Ribeiro told the French publication Le Figaro.
“When the cops arrived, they attacked women, children, and the elderly, before blending back into the mob. Some victims had their clothing taken away from them.”
The post-match violence has the potential to become a hot topic in the legislative elections, which will be contested in two rounds starting next weekend, with conservative and far-right opponents of President Macron seeing an opportunity.
For them, the main narrative was not organizational failings (though these were obviously there) or Liverpudlian hooliganism (of which there was little evidence), but the emergence of additional thuggery from the run-down high-immigration regions around Saint-Denis.
Even more absurd was the government’s unwillingness to call this out, ostensibly for fear of losing centre-left sentiment by “stigmatizing” the residents of the Paris suburbs, according to opponents.
It’s no surprise that far-right leader Marine Le Pen is seizing the opportunity to rally her supporters ahead of the legislative vote.
She tweeted, “France has served up a show of what it is becoming.” “A lawless zone in general.”
In actuality, Marine Le Pen’s National Rally (RN) is not Macron’s major opponent in these elections. The true threat comes from the left, which has formed a new alliance behind radical Jean-Luc Mélenchon.
However, if the Stade de France has the effect of drawing disgruntled right-wing supporters away from Macron’s camp (where they’d built tents to keep Mr Mélenchon out) and towards the RN (because “Marine told it like it is”), the president’s lead over the left would be eroded.
And that might have an impact when the results are released on June 19.