France’s twisted attitude to fans led to Champions League chaos

Liverpool supporters were on the receiving end of the contemptuous and antiquated views of local authoritiesThe Champions League final fiasco was a complex, multilayered organisational failure. But the events that unfolded in the hours before the game and late into last Saturday night in the surroundings of the Stade de France originate in the twisted relationship that France as a country has with football fans – one of contempt, fascination, and, ultimately, fear.French fan culture is relatively new compared with those of other European football nations. Born in the mid-1980s, the scene was largely influenced by Italy and England, before supporters’ groups built their own identity in the 1990s. The first specific football-related security legislation goes back to 1993 and set the tone that soon became a standard for all fan-related public policies: supporters are a nuisance and need to be treated as such.

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