PARIS: Organisers of Euro 2016 in France will wait until the United Nations’ COP21 climate change conference has blown out of Paris before nailing down the security plan for the European Championship finals writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
The draw for the finals is being staged Saturday night in the Palais de Congres, a football-star studded occasion for which security has been reinforced by both private companies and the Paris police authority.
Then organising president Jacques Lambert and his team will finalise what is needed, amid heightened concerns after the Paris terror attacks which left 129 dead last month, to keep players, fans and officials of 24 teams safe next summer.
One of the main concerns is how to maintain the vibrancy of fan zones in the 10 host cities while maintaining the highest standards of vigilance.
Lambert said: “Security at Euro 2016 is a co-production where the federal authorities are involved in keeping public order in towns, roads, borders etc and then the organisers are responsible for security within the stadia.
“Since November 13 and the incidents at the Stade de France we, in the French federation, have held a number of technical meetings to learn all we can about what happened at the Stade de France and around it.
“The strategy of the government has been to prioritise the security of COP21 over the last several days so the coordination with the state services will then intensify over the coming days and weeks.
“Our event is a good six months away so we have time to take a methodical approach, learn everything we can about events last month and draw lessons from that.
“What we need to bear in mind is the interface between two systems. It is often at the interface that difficulties can arise and that’s why we need to work in very close co-operation with the authorities.”
Disagrement has hovered over the fan zones with some security officials less enthusiastic than city representatives.
Lambert remained a supporter of fan zones. He said: “The host cities want to keep the fan zones as places where crowds can gather, see the matches for free and can be gathered in one place rather than scattered. That’s an advantage for security.”
The source of extra security funding had yet to be resolved.
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