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Gérald Darmanin Apologises to Liverpool Fans

The French interior minister is now shifting track.

OLY-2020-2021-TOKYO-FRA-POLITICS Photo by LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP via Getty Images

After testifying to the French Senate that some supporters arrived late, some were intoxicated and around 40,000 tried to enter the stadium with no tickets or fake tickets in “massive fraud on an industrial scale”, French Minister of the Interior Gerald Darmanin has now budged from that position and apologised to Liverpool FC fans.

That position, which seemed completely detached from reality with the insane number of eyewitness accounts and videos out there, was also further disputed by the testimonies of Liverpool Disabled Supporters chair Ted Morris and Spirit of Shankly’s Joe Blott in the French Senate last week.

“Could the Stade de France have been better managed? The answer is yes.”

“Do I have some responsibility for that? The answer is yes. I apologise to those who suffered from this poor management.

“It is certain we have changes to make to the organisation.”

He then proceeded to shift tack to the “delinquency in Saint-Denis”. It’s important to note that he made this concession to RTL in France, a radio station in France and that they seem to be shifting their strategy as public opinion in France is against them in a huge way.

In response, Spirit of Shankly issued this:

“No one should underestimate the significance of this. One week after the truth was told by the Liverpool Disabled Supporters Association and ourselves an apology has followed.”

“While this is obviously welcome as a first and much-needed positive step, deflecting blame is not acceptable and greater sincerity is still required. Our basic demand remains unaltered - a fully independent investigation is essential.”

Meanwhile, Liverpool FC officials will be meeting the chair of UEFA’s review, Dr Tiago Brandao Rodrigues, to ascertain that the process will be independent. This is partly because there have been suggestions Rodrigues has links to UEFA president Aleksandar Ceferin. LFC officials are also seeking answers to 13 questions they submitted to UEFA, only some of which have been partially answered, with further details on which experts will be involved on the panel before they can make a decision on whether Rodrigues is the right person to lead the review.

It is reported that although UEFA has pledged unconditional access to its files and staff and outlined its rationale for appointing Rodrigues, they have not provided detailed responses to the questions posed. Both Liverpool and Real Madrid, are hoping that separate meetings with Dr Rodrigues will provide the answers they seek. The hope is to establish a thorough, independent and transparent investigation process, as both clubs remain unconvinced by the “independent review” terminology used by UEFA previously.

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