France confirms additional security for fan zones at Euro 2016

Jacques Lambert, President of the EURO 2016. © Charles Platiau
Euro 2016 president Jacques Lambert has confirmed that security for next year’s football tournament will be ramped up and that fan zones would still be hosted despite concerns over terrorism.

A series of sickening attacks on Paris last month carried out by the Islamic State terrorist group has raised concerns that the 2016 European Championships could be targeted in a similar manner. 

A series of sickening attacks on Paris last month carried out by the Islamic State terrorist group has raised concerns that the 2016 European Championships could be targeted in a similar manner. 

The coordinated strikes in the French capital included mass shootings and suicide bombings, with the Stade de France one of the venues targeted during an international friendly football match between France and Germany.

Despite this, Euro 2016 has been given the backing to go ahead, but Lambert has said that security would be intensified to ensure supporters’ safety.

“Since 13 November we have held a number of technical meetings to learn all we can about what happened at the Stade de France and around it.

“We have also been in contact with officials at the Ministry of the Interior, the Paris police force, security and intelligence services.

“The priority of the French government has been the climate conference. The co-ordination with state services will intensify over the coming days and weeks. We have the time to take a methodical approach.”

There was some doubt over whether fan zones would be hosted. This is where large crowds of supporters can congregate to watch the action on giant screens.

Lambert confirmed that consultation with the 10 host cities has led to the decision that fan zones will go ahead.

“The government said the host cities wanted to keep the idea of the fan zones,” he continued.

“For them these are a place where crowds can gather and can see the matches for free on big screens.

“They expressed the wish to have this crowd gathered in one place rather than scattered around the towns. Another desire expressed was to review the security system for the fan zones.”

UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino also confirmed the tournament’s prize money would be increased.

The 24 competing nations will share €301 million ($326 million), which has increased from €196 million ($215 million) at Euro 2012. The winners will claim €27 million ($30 million).

Infantino also confirmed that a decision over the potential use of goal-line technology at the tournament would be made in January 2016.

The Euro 2016 draw is set to take place in Paris later today.

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