Had been the indignities skilled by followers a large-scale outbreak of bureaucratic incompetence or one thing extra sinister?
For as soon as, it’s the nonetheless photographs that seize the scene higher than the movies. Had been you to base your impression of the hellscape in Paris on Saturday night time on the grainy, shaky shifting footage alone, you’ll in all probability conclude that it was a lawless, seething moshpit of dysfunction: of youths scaling spiked fences, gates being rattled and clattered, a ceaseless stream of teargas and baton expenses. However the overwhelming sensation being conveyed by the hundreds of followers massed exterior the Stade de France was stasis: the quiet, festering frustration of nothing shifting, nothing altering, nothing taking place, a sea of thwarted humanity ready patiently for hour upon hour, as if queueing for bread.
A lot for the what. The manifold indignities and inconveniences visited upon followers on the Champions League last on Saturday – lengthy traces, denial of entry, a scarcity of stewarding and safety, police brutality – have been properly documented within the subsequent days. What’s lacking from all that is any sense of the why. Why did Uefa and the French authorities enable this showpiece event to degenerate so catastrophically? Was it merely a large-scale outbreak of bureaucratic incompetence? Or was one thing extra sinister at work?