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Good news: France gives green light for Euro 2016 fan zones

The Uefa fan zones were under threat after the recent terrorist attacks.

Ireland fans at Euro 2012.
Ireland fans at Euro 2012.
Image: EMPICS Sport

FRANCE’S INTERIOR MINISTER says there will be fan zones at Euro 2016, but that they’ll have increased security because of the recent terrorist attacks which left 130 dead.

The attacks included three large explosions caused by suicide bombers outside the Stade de France — where the Euro 2016 final will take place — during a friendly between France and Germany.

Fan zones are large sections in the middle of host cities that have big screens and entertainment for fans during the tournament.

Thousands of people gather in the fan zones during matches and there had been suggestions that security concerns would rule them out at next summer’s tournament.

That has now been denied by Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve.

“The tragedy of November 13, which took place in part in the vicinity of a sports venue, forces us to take the necessary measures to ensure the event takes place in the best conditions,” Cazeneuve said after an emergency meeting of the tournament’s steering committee.

“Everyone is mobilised. We’ll do everything in our power to ensure that everything takes place in the best conditions and that the fan zones can be organised,” said Cazeneuve.”The organisation of these fan areas are the subject of ongoing assessments that will lead us to update or change our plan of action.”

Cazeneuve said that video surveillance would be reinforced along with security personnel, with additional needs being dealt with on a case by case basis.

Euro 2016 organising committee chief Jacques Lambert said he was delighted that the fan zones would be maintained.

“UEFA always said that the fans zones would be what the cities would decide to do,” said Lambert.

“There is no dogmatic view but a form of flexibility to adapt the fan zone to the budget and environment. What emerges from the new security requirements is that we’ll go even further towards flexibility.”

Euro 2016 will take place from 10 June-July 10 in ten host cities across France. Both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland will be among the 24 teams taking part.

© – AFP 2015 with reporting by Rónán Duffy

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