France’s secretary of state in charge of sports has vowed not to bow to terrorist “barbarians” by allowing Euro 2016 to be cancelled.
More than 30 people were killed and 260 injured after bombs were detonated at Zaventem airport and then Maelbeek metro station in a terrorist attack on Wednesday.
UEFA released a statement to confirm that plans were not in place to hold matches behind closed doors at the tournament in France later this year, despite its own executive committee vice-chairman Giancarlo Abete suggesting such a measure could be necessary.
The attack in Brussels, just four months after the terrorist atrocities in Paris that killed 130 people, have led to increased concerns about the viability of staging the Euro 2016 finals, but Thierry Braillard is adamant that appropriate security procedures are in place.
“I would like to remind you what the prime minister said yesterday. We shouldn’t back down, we shouldn’t surrender against people who have a different philosophy to ours, which is death,” he said.
“They want to attack our way of life. This is the reason why – while we respect the grief of all of the victims of the attacks – we must maintain all public events, including the Euros. Not organising the Euros would be to nurture those people, those cowards, those barbarians. We must show them that we are stronger than that.
“We decided to maintain the Euros with the organiser of the competition, UEFA, and the organisation committee of Euro 2016.
“Security is the priority of the organisation of the Euros. We should remember that a lot of stadiums, including Stade Velodrome, have got some major improvements. All CCTV has been upgraded and modernised with the latest technology. Inside the stadium, security will be at the maximum thanks to CCTV and the security guards. Outside the stadium, it will be the same.”
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