In the wake of the gruesome attacks over the weekend in Paris, the Euro 2016 football tournament organiser Jacques Lambert does not believe the finals, due to be held in France next summer, should be cancelled.
Islamic State has claimed it is responsible for the attacks, somewhat predictably, and the death toll so far stands a t 129, with a further 350 wounded. Lambert was yesterday interviewed by the French radio station RTL, and he commented that even considering the cancellation of the event is to “play the game of the terrorists.”
Two in a year
This is now the second time in a year that France has suffered at the hands of Islamic State attacks, and the danger with such a large-scale tournament being held so soon in the wake of what appears to be just the latest in a sustained targeting of the French, is that spontaneous gatherings of fans in the country’s squares and around bars and cafes will create all manner of problems in terms of security.
Stadium security is far more manageable, and generally works well, although the site for eth final – the Stade de France was the site where four people were killed in a suicide bomb attack just outside during the France v Germany friendly on Friday evening.
What may be more of a concern for tournament organisers is the likelihood that many fans will now not travel for the tournament. For Europe, life is likely to have forever changed as the fear over safety – for those who have had no part in the decisions to attack in Syria or Iraq – is now at an all-time high. Many will look at the savage murders carried out on people indulging in attending a sports event, a music concert, or a restaurant, and wonder of there is anything they are safe to do in the coming year or so.
In the meantime, the England v France friendly will go ahead as planned on Tuesday, although the appetite for the game among fans will likely see many of the Wembley seats left unoccupied as London braces itself for a fresh wave of targeted attacks following the nightmare in Paris.