Move ‘to shut Paris Euro 2016 fan zone’

French police take part in a training exercise outside the State de France in ParisImage copyright

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The Stade de France was targeted during the Paris attacks but will host games during Euro 2016

France’s police chief is keen to close a zone for up to 90,000 fans for part of the Euro 2016 football tournament, Agence France-Presse reports.

In a letter to Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, Michel Cadot cited the “exhaustion” of overstretched police and the threat of terrorism, according to AFP.

Paris is one of 10 host cities during the competition that starts next week.

This week, the US warned the tournament could be targeted by militants.

“The large number of tourists visiting Europe in the summer months will present greater targets for terrorists,” the State Department said.

Paris has been preparing the fan zone at the foot of the world-famous Eiffel Tower.

Every match will be screened at the fan zone, but Mr Cadot is aiming for it to be shut during all 12 matches that take place in Paris’ two stadiums.

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The fan zone will be able to accommodate about 90,000 people

Mr Cazeneuve is yet to publicly respond to Mr Cadot’s proposal.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls has said fan zones in all 10 host cities should go ahead as planned during the tournament unless there is a specific threat.

Up to a million foreign fans are expected in France for the tournament, which involves the continent’s top national teams and runs between 10 June-10 July.

France is already under a state of emergency following last November’s attacks in Paris that were claimed by the so-called Islamic State (IS).

The near-simultaneous assaults on a stadium, concert hall, bars and restaurants left 130 people dead and many more wounded.

In March, 32 people died in neighbouring Belgium when suicide blasts hit Brussels airport and a metro station. IS said it was behind both the Paris and Brussels attacks.

  • 2.5m are expected in stadiums for the games

  • 1m foreign visitors

  • 51 matches are taking place

  • 10 venues across France are hosting games

  • 90,000 security staff deployed

France’s state of emergency has been extended to include the tournament, and it also plans to deploy anti-drone technology as another precaution.

More than 90,000 police, soldiers and private security agents are being deployed as well.

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The tournament has been expanded this year, so more host venues are required

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