Soccer-French trade unions hail strike success during Champions League final
PARIS (Reuters) – French transport trade unions on Tuesday hailed the success of their strike during the Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid, which the French government said contributed to the public disorder that marred the showpiece event.
The government has mainly blamed massive ticket fraud and Liverpool’s handling of their fans for Saturday’s trouble but also said the transport strike contributed to an overcrowding of fans near the Stade de France stadium.
“The success of the strike during the Champions League final resulted in a clear display of strength for the trade unions,” said a joint statement from the CGT and UNSA unions representing workers on Paris’ RER and RATP public transport networks.
The unions also threatened another strike on Friday to coincide with the France versus Denmark Nations League soccer match. The unions want better pay and working conditions.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson described the scenes outside the Stade de France, which saw some fans including children tear-gassed by French police, as deeply upsetting, while Liverpool Chairman Tom Werner has demanded an apology from the French sports minister.
French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said Liverpool had provided their supporters with paper tickets, not electronic, which allowed for the possibility of what he described as a “massive fraud on an industrial scale”.
The crowd trouble has become a political issue ahead of next month’s parliamentary elections and embarrassed France, which hosts the Rugby World Cup in 2023 and Olympic Games in 2024.
(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Ken Ferris)