'No plans' for closed-door games at Euro 2016

Uefa is not considering staging the European Championship in France behind closed doors, but is working on "contingency plans" because of security fears after the Brussels attacks.
Uefa is not considering staging the European Championship in France behind closed doors, but is working on "contingency plans" because of security fears after the Brussels attacks. PHOTO: REUTERS

NYON (Switzerland) • Uefa is not considering staging the European Championship in France behind closed doors, but is working on "contingency plans" because of security fears after the Brussels attacks, a spokesman for the European football body said yesterday.

"We are confident that all security measures will be in place for a safe and festive Euro and therefore there are no plans to play matches behind closed doors," Mr Pedro Pinto said. "Nevertheless, we are working on contingency plans and on multiple scenarios around crisis situations since we take the security of all participants very seriously."

His comments came after Uefa vice-president Giancarlo Abete said it could not rule out holding games without fans for the tournament, which starts on June 10. The bomb attacks in Brussels, and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria strikes in Paris last November, have put an intense security spotlight on Euro 2016, which will last for a month.

Organisers of the tournament said last month that 10,000 people had been hired for security roles, among them 900 guards for each of the 51 matches.

At a Euro 2016 Steering Committee meeting on security in Paris on Tuesday, measures were agreed for systematic pat-downs at fan zones, metal detectors, demining services and video surveillance in zones welcoming 10,000 to 100,000 fans.

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said security for Euro 2016 was already at a maximum and could not be increased further.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 24, 2016, with the headline ''No plans' for closed-door games at Euro 2016'. Print Edition | Subscribe