There IS footage of the blunders from Paris police in the Champions League final chaos


UEFA are understood to be incredulous that the vital CCTV footage at the Stade de France, which could have shed light on alleged police ineptitude in organising Liverpool’s Champions League final, has been deleted, piling further pressure on the French authorities to explain why their operation went disastrously wrong.

However, in a breakthrough that could reveal the mistakes of the local police, The Mail on Sunday can reveal that France’s main rail operator SNCF kept all of their video footage from the day of the event.

A spokesperson for the company, whose headquarters are adjacent to the Stade de France Saint-Denis RER station, said: ‘CCTV footage is normally automatically erased after three days. In the case of the Stade de France events, the automatic erasure of footage was blocked and the footage was retained, as permitted by law for a period of 30 days.’

Many experts believe tragedy was only averted by chance and the calm behaviour of Liverpool fans after serial failures of crowd control, evidence of an IT breakdown in scanning tickets and the lawlessness of Parisian gangs.

UEFA’s independent report, headed by Dr Tiago Brandao Rodrigues, was expected to make use of security footage in order to check claims made by French police that there were 40,000 ticketless fans in the vicinity of the stadium, a figure they have since admitted could be inaccurate.

Liverpool fans were tear-gassed by French police ahead of the Champions League final in Paris

French authorities blocked attempts to portray an accurate picture of the chaos at the match

French authorities blocked attempts to portray an accurate picture of the chaos at the match

UEFA chiefs discovered last week that the TV footage from the final had been deleted

UEFA chiefs discovered last week that the TV footage from the final had been deleted

But UEFA chiefs only discovered that the TV footage, which would have been vital to establishing whether the police accounts were credible, had been deleted when it was revealed in hearings at the French Senate on Thursday.

Security footage is deleted under French law after seven days unless the authorities request it is kept.

Despite the breakdown of law and order which attracted global embarrassment for France and a range of investigations and legal challenges, neither the French government, the police nor the judicial investigation in ticket-touting made a request. Footage from the RER and metro lines, the local railway network, has also been deleted.

Bruno Retailleau, leader of the Republican group in the French Senate, said: ‘We’re heading straight towards a state scandal,’ claiming that the deletion of the footage was ‘an intentional act to make evidence disappear as part of a cover-up’.

Officers deployed tear gas on supporters outside the Stade de France in an 'avoidable mess'

Officers deployed tear gas on supporters outside the Stade de France in an ‘avoidable mess’

The fiasco has been described as a ‘massive failure’ by the authorities, leaving fans concerned

UEFA have launched an investigation into the incidents, with Paris now firmly under scrutiny

UEFA have launched an investigation into the incidents, with Paris now firmly under scrutiny

Leader of the Socialist group, Patrick Kanner, said that it was now ‘a state matter that neither the Minister of the Interior, nor the head of police, nor the keeper of the seals [a French judicial post roughly equivalent to the Lord Chancellor] had taken what would have been the intelligent, useful action of asking the judicial authorities to retain these videos.’

UEFA have declined to comment on the claims, citing that they cannot prejudice the independent report being complied by Dr Rodrigues, a Portuguese politician.

Meanwhile, a judicial source in the Paris suburb of Bobigny, where prosecutors are investigating the chaos, confirmed that the SNCF footage ‘has been requisitioned’.

The source told The Mail on Sunday: ‘The film was seized on Friday, and is vital. SNCF cameras surround the Stade de France, and its approaches. Not only is the Stade at the centre of the rail network, but it’s next door to SNCF headquarters.

‘The footage undoubtedly contains more images of violence carried out by all parties to the investigation, including by the police. The key is to work out whether this violence was lawful.’

Elisabeth Borne, France’s new Prime Minister, has also said that other images belonging to other companies, including the Paris transport network RATP, could be retrieved.

‘We’re trying to see if we can get the footage back,’ Borne said on Friday, indicating that technicians were working on the case.

Video evidence on social media and TV reporting on the night, as well as testimony from Real Madrid and Liverpool fans, indicates French-speaking gangs did attempt to exploit the chaos to surge through gates, climb fences as well as attack fans before and after the game.

And The Mail On Sunday has revealed evidence of an IT meltdown that meant legitimate tickets failed to scan, as well as numerous errors made by the police and authorities in marshalling fans to the stadium, which resulted in dangerous crushes.

A report commissioned by Borne into the fiasco was published on Friday, and listed multiple failures by the French authorities.

Over 30 pages, problems with crowd management, a lack of information on entry points and a ‘failure to read warning signs of the presence of malicious individuals who came in large numbers to commit acts of delinquency’ were listed as the issues rather than fans.

Sports minister Amelie Oudea-Castera (pictured) has written to Liverpool to apologise to fans

Sports minister Amelie Oudea-Castera (pictured) has written to Liverpool to apologise to fans

It reported that 1,644 fake tickets were scanned at the Liverpool end at Gates X, Y and Z which was designed to take 15,000 fans, well short of the 40,000 suggested by the Paris police chief.

Also, the report reveals that 2,700 Liverpool fans with legitimate tickets were refused entry because their tickets didn’t scan. Given The Mail on Sunday‘s evidence of many legitimate tickets failing to scan or taking multiple attempts to scan amid a general IT meltdown, it may be that 1,644 ‘fake’ tickets turn out to be legitimate upon further investigation.

The Daily Mail revealed yesterday that UEFA’s initial statement about the game’s delay referenced the fact that significant disorder had been caused by local French gangs. 

Those lines were then taken out by the French police who placed the blame on Liverpool fans, without producing evidence and they dictated what went in the official statement.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk