French cafe owners are being told not to host large outdoor TV broadcasts of the Euro 2016 football championship because of the security risk, in a country where Islamist attackers killed 130 people on one night in November.
The warning came as exceptionally rainy weather gave way to sunshine and the promise of balmy evenings, when crowds of fans and revellers will be able to watch the matches at outdoor venues.
“It’s all planned to ensure security at specific places,” sports minister Thierry Braillard said on Thursday.
“We cannot accept unorganised crowds because the security forces don’t have the means to make them safe,” he told RMC radio ahead of the tournament, which begins on Friday and runs until July 10.
Gunmen and suicide bombers killed 130 and injured hundreds more on November 13. Three blew themselves up outside the Stade de France, where the Euro contest starts. Others raked cafe terraces in Paris with gunfire and shot dead 90 people at a rock concert.
Last week the US government warned of possible summer terrorist attacks in Europe, saying targets could include Euro 2016.
Around 90,000 police, soldiers and private security agents are being deployed to ensure safety for an expected 2.5 million spectators at 51 football matches and at “fan zones” where millions more can watch giant TV screens.