Recent terrorist attacks have forced UEFA bosses to consider closing the stadia from fans and spectators alike this summer in France.
This is because the world is still coming to terms with the shock of Paris Terror attack in the Stade de France last year and just yesterday, the Brussels airport attack that claimed 34 lives.
The EURO 2016 Tournament which is the biggest football tournament for European nations, will be held across 10 stadia in 10 cities in France with the capacity of the smallest stadium being 33,000 while the largest being 81,000 (Stade de France) making it an easy target for terrorists.
With the tournament just 3 months away, UEFA executive committee vice-president Giancarlo Abete has admitted the best option could be to play the matches behind closed doors.
Euro 2016 is the kind of event we can’t delay or postpone. We can’t exclude the possibility of playing behind closed doors as we cannot exclude terrorism.
UEFA said in a statement:
We will continue their joint work and will regularly monitor the level of risk for the tournament and their respective organisational plans. For over three years now, EURO 2016 SAS has been working closely with the relevant authorities to develop the most appropriate mechanisms in order to guarantee a safe and secure tournament and all necessary measures are being taken to ensure that is the case for all involved.’ France’s interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve was keen to stress adequate security measures have been put in place.
The events in Brussels remind us of the very high level of security which is necessary to ensure Euro 2016 is successful,’ said Cazeneuve, who at a press conference said the government would contribute £1.5million for CCTV projects to cover fan zones during the tournament.
Euro 2016 must combine sportsmanship, festivity and security for the teams, coaches and fan. It is 80 days to the start of Euro 2016 and the organisers, cities and state services are fully mobilised. Euro 2016 should be a celebration but collective security is an obligation for everyone alongside the government.