Olympics: Euro 2016 could impact France's Olympic bid - Paris 2024 official

Policemen take part in a mock suicide attack exercise as part of security measures for the upcoming Euro 2016 football championships.
Policemen take part in a mock suicide attack exercise as part of security measures for the upcoming Euro 2016 football championships.PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (AFP) - France's hosting of the Euro 2016, which is threatened with disruption by strikes, could impact the country's bid to host the 2024 Olympic Games, the vice-president of the Paris bid committee said Monday.

With less than two weeks to to Euro 2016, looming air and train strikes threaten travel chaos as unions continue to press for the withdrawal of controversial labour reforms.

"We're concerned about that," Tony Estanguet said on the sidelines of a Paris 2024 partners' dinner that was attended by President Francois Hollande.

"We're not here to clash with the French people. It's a free country and it's good that people express themselves. At the same time we continue to defend the major sporting events, because for us they're outside of politics and useful to society," the former triple Olympic canoeing champion said.

"Even if it is tense (and) if the social climate is complicated, we believe that sport should be separate from all that."

Paris faces competition from Los Angeles, Rome and Budapest to host the 2024 Olympics. The winner will be named by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on September 13, 2017, in Lima.

"It's certain that the Euro will be monitored very closely, IOC members are talking to us about it, security issues ...," said Estanguet ahead of the football tournament which gets underway on June 10 with France taking on Romania in Stade de France.

"From the outset of our bid we stressed we're experts in organising events, we obviously want it to go well and we're confident."

The Stade de France, which will also host the final, was targeted by suicide bombers during the attacks by the Islamic State group on the French capital in November. The assailants tried unsuccessfully to get inside the security perimeter.