Euro 2016: Russian police to assist with security in France

Euro 2016: Russian police to assist with security in France
Russian police officers will be used to help control potential unruly crowds at Euro 2016 and to provide security measures.

The competition will take place in France later this month, with 24 nations competing in the tournament, which kicks off June 10.

An international police operation looks set to be deployed in an attempt to maintain order and ensure the security of supporters travelling to witness the action first-hand.

A spokesman for the Russian Interior Ministry has confirmed that the nation’s police would be present in France.

"The Russian Interior Ministry has positively replied to the French Interior Ministry’s proposal to take part in the international police operation on maintaining order before and during the 2016 Euro Cup," he said.

Six specially trained expert policemen will be sent to France, while the need for Russian officers will be dependent on how far the national team gets in the tournament.

Russia will enter compete in Group B alongside England, Wales and Slovakia.

Russia’s clash with England in Marseille has been identified as a fixture that could potentially see rivalry between fans, and the French authorities are already prepared to manage the influx of people to the south coast city for the game.

Given the terror attacks in Paris last November, security services are on high alert ahead of the tournament and a higher police presence than usual is expected.

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said the safety of supporters in France was the main priority.

"Today, football is threatened by potential attacks, because the games always gather large crowds of fans,” he said.

“The popularity of the sport makes it a sort of target for terrorists.”

Russia will have friendly fixtures against Croatia and Czech Republic before starting their Euro 2016 campaign against England on June 11.