PARIS: Matches at this year’s European soccer championship in France could be moved or played in empty stadiums if security services considered there was the danger of an attack, a UEFA official was quoted as saying on Wednesday.
Martin Kallen, tournament director for Euro 2016, which will be staged across France from June 10-July 10, told Germany’s Sport Bild magazine that organisers and French security services had been working together to discuss options in the case of a perceived threat.
Security concerns have mounted in the wake of the Nov. 13 Paris attacks when Islamist militants killed 130 people in bars, restaurants and a concert hall in and around the capital.
Three suicide bombers also blew themselves up outside the Stade de France — venue for the Euro 2016 opening match and final — where France were playing Germany in a friendly international soccer match.
Kallen said Euro 2016 games could be moved at short notice bringing in the scenario of playing without any fans present “because the spectators who have tickets for the match in question wouldn’t have enough time to organise travel and a hotel room.
“Safety and staging the tournament takes priority over everything else,” he told the weekly sports magazine.
Kallen and Jacques Lambert, head of the Euro 2016 local organising committee, are holding a news conference later on Wednesday.