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Germany steps up security measures ahead of Euro 2024

June 10, 2024

With Euro 2024 approaching and 2.7 million football fans expected, Germany ramps up security after an IS supporter’s arrest. Preparations include heightened police checks and international cooperation.

Police in a stadium in Stuttgart participate in a training exercise
Police have been training for different scenarios in the leadup to the Euro 2024Image: Daniel Kubirski/picture-alliance

Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said Germany is "very well prepared" to confront any security risks during the upcoming UEFA European football championship.

"We have a very high risk in abstract terms, but we have nothing concrete," she said, adding that there was no such thing as 100% safety.

The monthlong football championship, also called the Euro 2024, kicks off on Friday.

"Security is the highest priority for us," Faeser said, while visiting an international police center set up for the tournament outside the western city of Düsseldorf. "We are very, very well prepared and I therefore hope that it will be peaceful and safe games."

Between June 14 and July 14, there will be 51 matches played in 10 German cities. An estimated 2.7 million football fans are expected in stadiums, while public viewing events are expected to draw some 12 million people.

Suspected IS supporter applied for Euro 2024 accreditation

There have been heightened security concerns following the arrest last week of a suspected "Islamic State" supporter who had reportedly applied, unsuccessfully, to work at Euro 2024 events.

The man — who has German, Moroccan and Polish citizenship — was arrested at Cologne airport on suspicion of having transferred $1,700 (€1,580) to an account belonging to an offshoot of IS.

Interior minister of the western state of North Rhine-Wesphalia, Herbert Reul, said the man had applied to work as a steward at the Euro 2024.

"We have checked all those who will be working in these areas of security and order because they need accreditation," he said.  "And during the accreditation process, it became apparent that this young man could pose a problem and that is why we are now taking careful care of him."

He said there was no indication of a planned attack.

Nancy Faeser and Herbert Reul holding soccer balls
Herbert Reul and Nancy Faeser say Germany is 'very well' prepared to put on the tournamentImage: Kay Nietfeld/dpa/picture alliance

Faeser described the arrest as "a big success" that showed introduced security checks were "obviously working."

Some 580 police officers from other countries will join German law enforcement in carrying out patrols in the host cities, at railway stations and on trains.

Since Friday, police have been carrying out additional checks along Germany's borders in preparation for the championship. The extra security will remain in place until July 19.

Faeser said earlier that the measures were part of an effort to combat a range of potential security threats, from Islamist terrorism to football hooliganism.

nm/wmr (with dpa)