Thursday, January 19, 2017

Euro 2016 fan zones to go ahead

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 24 Nov 2015

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Euro 2016 fan zones will go ahead as planned, despite France currently being subject to a state of emergency following the attacks on Paris earlier this month.

A total of 130 people were killed in a series of terror attacks across the French capital on November 13, raising serious questions about the safety of fans attending next year’s tournament.

The Stade de France – which was hosting a friendly between France and Germany at the time – was one of a number of locations targeted by the terrorists, with parliament subsequently extending the country’s state of emergency to three months.

But interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve insists there are no plans to pull the plug on fan zones, which will give supporters without tickets the chance to gather and watch matches on big screens.

“Of course, the fan zones which were wanted by the mayors as fun zones will exist,” he said after a meeting to discuss tournament security. “We’ll do everything to keep them.

“We will keep a permanent eye on the organisation of these fan zones, like all festivities around the Euros in general.

“We will make a decision from this evaluation and we are able to adapt our packages in accordance with the threat.”

Asked what other security measures are planned, he added: “We’ll strengthen the video surveillance at Stade de France and at every stadium, and I’ve asked the board of the national police, the Paris prefecture and the board of the police force [gendarmerie], to talk with the mayors and to evaluate which additional video surveillance devices are needed, so we can strengthen the security.”

Alain Juppe, the mayor of Bordeaux who represents the 10 host cities, added: “We want to keep these fan zones for two reasons. On the one hand, we want to keep the festive and popular atmosphere of the event with these fan zones.

“And with these fan zones, we can keep a control on the festivities. Without these spaces, people would organise improvised gatherings in the cities.”

Euro 2016 gets under way on June 10.

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