Football's European governing body has revealed that Euro 2016 games could be postponed or moved. These are just a couple of the scenarios the organizers are considering to keep the tournament safe from terrorism.
Martin Kallen, UEFA's tournament director for Euro 2016, which kicks off in France on June 10, has told Germany's "Sport Bild" weekly that single games could be called off due to terror attacks or threats and staged the next day behind closed doors.
Kallen said the option of playing games behind closed doors would come into play if a match had to be moved to another venue for safety reasons, "because the spectators who have tickets for the match in question wouldn't have enough time to organize travel and a hotel room."
Kallen, who said this was just one option that officials could consider if worse came to worst, also stressed that "safety and staging the tournament takes priority over everything else."
The Swiss national, whose comments are to be published in Wednesday's edition of "Sport Bild," said the organizers had been working with the French authorities, going through every scenario they could think of in an effort to be prepared for the worst.
Jacques Lambert, the head of the local organizing committee for Euro 2016, insisted that "the stadiums, the team hotels, the training pitches and the hotels used by the delegations will be safe, even if nobody can guarantee 100-percent security."
France has seen a number of Islamist terror attacks over the past 14 months, including the deadly shooting at the editorial offices of the Shootings at headquarters of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, deaths reportedsatirical weekly Charlie Hebdo and at a Kosher supermarket in Paris# in January, 2015. Fears for the safety of Euro 2016 grew on November 13, when three suicide bombers blew themselves up outside of the Stade de France just outside of Paris, while the French national team was playing Germany in a friendly match. This was just one of a number of attacks on that night, which claimed the lives of 130 people and injured more than 300 others.
Among the Euro 2016 games that are scheduled to be played in the Stade de France are the opener between France and Romania on June 10 and the final on July 10.
pfd/sb (SID, dpa)