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Euro 2016 matches could be held in empty stadiums

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Euro 2016 matches could be held in empty stadiums
Lyon's new stadium. COuld it host games without a crowd? Photo: AFP
10:21 CET+01:00
Football chiefs are prepared to close stadiums to fans during Euro2016 if there is a security threat.

Any heightened security threat during Euro 2016 could mean matches being played behind closed doors or moved to another part of the country at the last minute.

With just three months before the kick off of Euro 2016, European football chiefs from Uefa have been detailing how they plan to act in the event of an imminent terror threat.

France is still under a state of emergency following the November 13th attacks in Paris, one of which took place at the Stade de France during a France-Germany football game, and authorities fear that terrorists could target Euro 2016 in the summer.

Martine Kallen, the tournament's director said this week that an exceptional security plan had been put in place. "It is possible that matches will be postponed," he told Swiss newspaper 24 Heures. "It could also be the case that matches are moved at short term to another stadium, or take place without an audience."

Seven million people are expected to visit France during the tournament, and security officials in the host cities yesterday announced plans for precautions in the fan zones, including body searches, video surveillance and guards patrolling inside.

However, Kallen, who also directed the past three championships, had some reassuring words for fans, saying: "For the moment, there is no sign of a particular threat. But we want to be prepared for anything."

The Allianz Riviera stadium in Nice, one of the Euro2016 venues. But will spectators be allowed in? Photo: Valery Hache/AFP

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