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A safe, happy and festive Euro 2016

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A safe, happy and festive Euro 2016

The tragic events of recent months raise questions about the security situation for this summer’s European Football Championship in France. Organisers have made the necessary arrangements to ensure not only the safety of people, but also to promote fun and solidarity.

The Euro 2016 football championship will go ahead in June. The recent terrorist attacks that have rocked Europe and the world in recent months will not prevent France from holding one of this year’s most anticipated sporting events. The host country has taken precautions and arranged for the event to be safe, but also to ensure that it is a time of celebration and sharing.

Search and surveillance
In this somewhat fragile time, France is tightening its security measures. Police will be mobilised in large numbers around stadiums and their entrances - 400 policemen were near the Stade de France (Paris) during the recent game played by the French national team. Over the course of the championship, UEFA will provide 10,000 private security guards to help police. On the agenda: pre-filtering, patting down/ frisking, checking of bags and verification of tickets.

Special measures will also be taken at the famous "fan zones" - spaces in city centres where giant screens have been setup for viewing - and in areas where supporters will congregate in large numbers. France expects seven million people to watch the matches in different locations. During a recent television interview, French Prime Minister Valls assured the public that viewing areas would be just as secure as the stadiums. To ensure safety, cities will have security cameras installed and searches will be conducted at the entrances of viewing areas.

A time of celebration and sharing
Despite the tragic events of past five months, Euro 2016 should first and foremost be a time of emotion, joy and celebration. Maintaining the fan zones is already a positive sign; many football fans gather there because they cannot get seats in stadiums. In addition to the fan zones in the host cities, la Française des Jeux (FDJ) group is committed to opening fan zones in other major cities in France.

The football championship will also be indirectly involved in sustainable development. The Foot For Food campaign launched by the Fondaction du Football and UEFA aims to redistribute surplus food from stadiums and host cities. In collaboration with food banks in the country, the food will be redistributed within associations at the national level.

A competition like Euro 2016 is also a great opportunity to honour solidarity initiatives. The FDJ in partnership with l’Académie Diomède, will launch "But solidaire" (Goal solidarity) where one goal equals one euro, to help finance the Diomède academy’s projects. In the field of competition, the Streetfootballworld Festival 16 will bring together 500 children from disadvantaged backgrounds around the world to participate in a football tournament between 28 June and 7 July. Cultural and educational workshops will also be present on the sidelines of the tournament, to underscore the commitment to solidarity during the event.
 

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Victor Béquignon

Published

Tuesday, April 12, 2016 - 23:00

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