Christophe Ena
France 2016

Euro 2016 without the fans? 'No plans' to play behind closed doors despite terror threat

Tournament organisers ‘confident’ in security measures in place for France 2016.

UEFA IS NOT considering staging the European Championships in France behind closed doors but is working on “contingency plans” because of security fears after the Brussels attacks, a Uefa spokesman told AFP.

“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,” 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,” he told AFP.

His comments came after an Italian Uefa vice president said Europe’s governing body could not rule out holding games without fans for the tournament which starts on 10 June.

The bomb attacks in Brussels, and the Islamic State operation in Paris in November, have put an intense security spotlight on the month-long tournament in France.

Designated fan-zones which could attract hundreds of thousands of supporters from across Europe have caused particular concern.

French authorities have already confirmed that stadium security will be stepped up because of the attacks.

Giancarlo Abete, a Uefa vice president, told Italian media on Tuesday that while games behind closed doors could not be ruled out it was not yet being considered.

“From a technical point of view, the risk of ‘closed doors’ can always exist because we are talking about a competition where the matches must take place,” the Italian vice president told Radio 24.

“There are no matches that can be put back to another date. But it seems that is not a priority today.”

Abete told Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper that “today there is no structural situation that means we are thinking of disputing the Euro behind closed doors.”

© – AFP, 2016

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