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Stade de France snipers to guard French team’s return

Tuesday night will see France's national football side playing at the Stade de France arena for the first time since the November terror attacks.

Stade de France snipers to guard French team's return
Football fans gather in the field as they wait for security clearance to leave the Stade de France on November 13th following terror attacks that saw 130 killed across Paris. Photo: AFP
The Stade de France stadium, just north of Paris, will play host to an international friendly between Russia and France on Tuesday night. 
 
It will mark the first football international since the France versus Germany game on November 13th last year. That night 130 people were killed in a series of attacks across the French capital with suicide bombers detonating explosives outside the Stade de France, killing one person and injuring dozens.
 
And authorities are making sure security is a priority, installing 400 police officers and even snipers around the stadium, said deputy head of the Paris headquarters for public order and road traffic Laurent Simonin.
 
“An elite unit of the French national police will also be on guard during the match and will be available to intervene in the stadium or at the vicinity,” he told BFM TV. 
 
“The security features for the match are similar to what was implemented for all three games of the Six Nations Rugby with simply an extra supplementary security device.”
 
France captain Hugo Lloris said: “To be honest the players don't talk about it amongst themselves. But after a trauma like this there must be a day after.
   
“It's important to return to the Stade de France to find our point of reference and confidence.”
   
Security at the Stade de France will also be on high alert following last week's Brussels attacks which left 35 dead.
   
“We had to have confident in the security officials,” said Tottenham goalkeeper Lloris. “We have to continue to live and to live our passion together, it's important.”
 
Photo: AFP   
 
The Stade de France has been long associated with France's 1998 World Cup victory when Deschamps captained Les Bleus.
   
And he does not want the stadium to now be associated with last November's attacks.
   
“It's our stadium but I'm not going to forget, like no one will forget (the attacks).
   
“Before it was memories of happiness, now we have to hope that what happened will never happen again.”
   
The game against Russia will also be Deschamps' last chance to view the team before unveiling his 23-man Euro squad.
   
“It's the last but I'll do the same analysis as after every game,” he explained.
   
“I analyse at the end of every match or gathering but I'll look more at what we did overall in the past two years ago, just after the World Cup,” he said.
   
“When you have a match, like tomorrow (Tuesday), you're in the competition. But the real competition will be the Euros, because there the punishment will be elimination.
   
“We've only had friendlies for the past two years, but I've repeated it to all the players, it's up to them to seize their chances and to give their all for themselves and the team. They have nothing to lose and everything to win.
   
“These are friendly matches. The truth of the competition will be in the month of June.”
   
France are drawn in Group A with their opening match against Romania on June 10th at the Stade de France, followed by Albania on June 15th in Marseille and Switzerland on June 19th in Lille.

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French prosecutors demand jail term for Russian accused of leaving England football fan with brain damage

French prosecutors on Friday called for a 15-year prison sentence for one of two Russians accused of beating a British supporter during Euro 2016, an attack that left him with brain injuries.

French prosecutors demand jail term for Russian accused of leaving England football fan with brain damage
Russian fans light flares at the match against England in 2016.. Photo: AFP

One prosecutor, Christophe Raffin, asked for the “legal maximum… between 14 and 15 years” for Pavel Kossov, who is accused of throwing the first punch at 55-year-old Andrew Bache.

Bache was injured in the violence that broke out before England played Russia in the southern French port city of Marseille on June 11th, 2016.

The second Russian on trial in Aix-en-Provence, Mikhail Ivkine, stands accused of throwing a chair at the victim, with prosecutors asking for a potential suspended sentence of up to five years.

He has claimed he was defending himself.

“No, it wasn't legitimate self-defence, it was illegitimate use of force against Andrew Bache,” Raffin said of the violence.

 

Police give emergency aid to Andrew Bache following clashes in the city of Marseille. Photo: AFP

The prosecutors said the Russians were part of a group of about 150 men, many with martial arts training, who wrought havoc in Marseille.

Bache, from Portsmouth in southern England, has no memory of the events and is too frail to attend the trial.

His son Harry, who nurses his father, is representing him in court.

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