Risk higher but Euro 2016 will proceed: France

PARIS • The Euro 2016 Finals in France should not be cancelled even though the risk levels have escalated, the head of the organising committee said on Saturday following the attacks in Paris.

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria claimed responsibility after 129 people were killed and 352 wounded on Friday, saying it sent militants strapped with suicide bombing belts and carrying machine guns to various locations in the heart of the French capital.

"The risk had gone one level up in January (with the Charlie Hebdo attacks but now) it has just gone higher," Euro 2016 chief Jacques Lambert told French radio RTL.

"We will make the decisions we need to make so that the Euro Finals can be held in the best security conditions. Security in stadiums works well, the risk is more in the streets, in spontaneous gatherings.

NO SURRENDER

Wondering whether Euro 2016 must be cancelled is playing the game of the terrorists.

JACQUES LAMBERT, chairman of the Euro 2016 organising committee, on suggestions that the Finals be called off

"Wondering whether Euro 2016 must be cancelled is playing the game of the terrorists."

Euro 2016 will be held from June 10 to July 10 with 51 games in 10 stadiums in Paris and nine other cities. The draw for the 24-team tournament will take place in the capital on Dec 12.

There was one bombing near the Stade de France - venue of the Euro 2016 final - on Friday, killing three people, as the national team were playing a friendly against Germany.

France and Marseille midfielder Lassana Diarra, who started against the world champions in the 2-0 win on Friday, revealed that his cousin was one of the victims killed in the attacks.

He took to Twitter to confirm that Asta Diakite, a cousin he described as being like a "big sister" to him, had died in Friday's atrocities.

Meanwhile, two stars who also ply their trade in the French Ligue 1, have cast doubts over their futures at Paris Saint-Germain following the catastrophe. Brazil defender David Luiz, currently on international duty in South America, revealed his reluctance to return to Paris.

"Playing for PSG is my job but if it were up to me than I would not go back," he told Gazzetta World.

PSG are scheduled to face Lorient in the league on Saturday. The French champions' next home game, however, is not until Nov 28, when they take on Troyes.

Club team-mate and striker Edinson Cavani also has reservations about going back to the French capital after his time away with the Uruguay national team. His national team-mate Alvaro Gonzalez told L'Equipe: "The Paris attacks are awful for football and life. Cavani told us that he would prefer not to return there."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 16, 2015, with the headline 'Risk higher but Euro 2016 will proceed: France'. Print Edition | Subscribe