France to keep "fan zones" at Euro2016 championships

Reuters , Tuesday 24 Nov 2015

France plans to maintain public areas for thousands of soccer supporters to watch games on big screens at the European soccer championship next year despite security fears following the Paris attacks.

Interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve said after a security briefing on Tuesday that security would be reinforced but "the popular dimension of this competition should not be penalised by the current context."

Sports minister Patrick Kanner said that with retention of the so-called fan zones "we want to tell the French people and...foreigners that everything is under control."

In Paris, the zone is expected to have a 120,000 capacity and will be situated on the Champs de Mars, below the Eiffel Tower.

France has been in a state of emergency since coordinated attacks, claimed by Islamic State, on bars, restaurants, a concert hall and a soccer stadium killed 130 and injured over 350.

The Euro2016 finals will be played from June 10 to July 10 in 10 French cities: Paris, Saint-Denis, Lens, Lille, Bordeaux, Marseille, Lyon, Saint-Etienne, Toulouse and Nice.

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