With millions of sports fans expected to fill multiple venues over the weeks-long event, the French are beefing up security.

With the Euro 2016 soccer tournament kicking off this Friday in France, authorities are on high alert. The weeks-long championship, with 51 games across 10 venues, is expected to draw millions of fans to crowded stadiums and “fan zones.” All of which, in light of the attacks on Paris late last year, are being considered potential terrorist targets.

Countries like the U.S. and Britain have issued warnings about the potential terror risk, urging people to stay vigilant. And French security forces have been holding drills and staging mock attacks, preparing to respond to anything from shootings to bombings. The French government has also launched a free mobile app for iPhone and Android to encourage attendees to stay alert and provide critical information and communication in the event of an attack. 

Called SAIP, which stands for “system for alert and information for the population” in French, the app will issue alerts in French and English to users about “unexpected events” within 15 minutes of a confirmed incident, according to the Agence France-Presse. Its range will monitor up to eight geographic zones, so users can check on their friends and families abroad for the event. The app will also provide information on how to stay safe in different attack situations.

(French Ministry of Interior)

The idea for SAIP came on the heels of the Paris attacks last November, when terrorists affiliated with the self-proclaimed Islamic State killed more than a hundred people in large public areas around the city. Among the venues targeted that night was France’s largest stadium, the Stade de France in the Saint-Denis neighborhood just outside Paris, which will host some of the this year’s championship games. 

France will deploy a record 90,000 security staff—including 42,000 police, 30,000 gendarmes (armed police officers), and 10,000 soldiers—for the games. Despite these efforts from the French government, however, CNN reports that events in recent weeks have caused citizens to lose confidence in the country’s ability to secure the venues. At a soccer match in May, for example, fans managed to smuggle fireworks and smoke bombs into the Stade de France, prompting officials to “totally revise” security measures ahead of the upcoming tournament.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A person tapes an eviction notice to the door of an apartment.
    Equity

    Why Landlords File for Eviction (Hint: It’s Usually Not to Evict)

    Most of the time, a new study finds, landlords file for eviction because it tilts the power dynamic in their favor—not because they want to eject their tenants.

  2. Environment

    Paris Wants to Grow ‘Urban Forests’ at Famous Landmarks

    The city plans to fill some small but treasured sites with trees—a climate strategy that may also change the way Paris frames its architectural heritage.

  3. a photo collage of 2020 presidential candidates.
    Equity

    Will Housing Swing the 2020 Election?

    Among Democratic candidates for president, the politics of America’s housing affordability crisis are getting complicated. Just wait until Trump barges in.

  4. A house with a for sale sign.
    Perspective

    Why Are Zoning Laws Defining What Constitutes a Family?

    It’s wrong to exclude safe uses of housing because of who belongs to a household. Like family law, zoning ordinances should prioritize functional families.

  5. At an NBA game, a player attempts to block a player from the rival team who has the ball.
    Life

    NBA Free Agents Cluster in Superstar Cities, Too

    Pro basketball follows the winner-take-all geography of America as a whole, with free agents gravitating to New York, L.A., and other big cities.

×