France vows to fix stadium security before Euro 2016 opening day

  • Agencies, Paris
  • Updated: May 24, 2016 09:42 IST
Fans light a flare during the French Cup final soccer match between Marseille and PSG at the Stade de France Stadium, in Saint Denis, North of Paris, on May 21, 2016. (REUTERS)

Security failures exposed at France’s cup final over the weekend will be sorted out before the start of the Euro 2016 in three weeks’ time, the government said on Monday.

The month-long tournament opens across France on June 10 with a state of emergency still in force following Islamist militant attacks last November that killed 130 people in Paris and targeted multiple sites across the capital, including the Stade de France.

Saturday’s match between arch-rivals Paris St Germain and Olympique Marseille at the Stade de France had been deemed a high risk event and a first test for organisers of security measures required for the Euros.

Fans threw firecrackers and flares inside and outside the stadium and banned objects were brought into the grounds despite close searching, security officials said. There was also serious overcrowding.

“The system cracked a little. There are weak points that are not acceptable,” Philippe Galli, prefect for the Seine-Saint-Denis region that is in part responsible for security at the stadium, told Le Parisien newspaper. “We will have to correct what didn’t work.”

Local authorities, the French Football Federation and Europe’s governing body Uefa met on Monday to assess the security lapses and what should be done to correct them.

Speaking after the meeting, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said a series of measures would be finalised in the coming days to resolve the problems encountered on Saturday.

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