Preparations for the 2016 UEFA European Championship, otherwise known as the EURO 2016, are almost over with fans and teams flocking into France to witness this year’s football super-event.
As preparations in the sense of aesthetics and technicalities are somewhat ready, France is still trying to figure out how they will keep over 10 million football enthusiasts and the general French public safe throughout the games.
With several terror attacks in 2015 and 2016, and almost daily protests and riots, France’s 200,000 policemen and gendarmes are exhausted and stressed, according to French police unions.
The games, which will take place in 10 stadiums across 10 cities are expected to attract 2.5 million attendees, and about 7.5 million viewers around zones made especially for fans.
What makes this year’s tournament different is the fact that 24 teams are competing, unlike 16 teams on previous editions. The championship will begin on June 10 and conclude a month later, on July 10.
Some of the extra measures taken are France inviting foreign police officers to accompany their teams and fans throughout the matches, and setting up a Fans’ Embassy, to assist, organize and control fan-bodies in the country for the games.
This year will be the 15th edition of the UEFA European Championship and will be be played in ten stadiums, in ten cities, Bordeaux, Lens, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Paris, Saint-Denis, Saint-Étienne, and Toulouse. The winning team will qualify to compete at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup hosted by Russia.