Coaches headed to France for Euro 2016 said Thursday they were confident the country was doing everything to secure the tournament as they prepare for the games.
"Of course (security) is an issue, after what happened in November you can't just ignore it," said Germany coach Joachim Loew during a Euro 2016 workshop in Paris. "But I believe France is doing everything to guarantee security here."
Loew's team was playing France in a friendly match in the Stade de France stadium outside Paris on November 13 when suicide bombers tried to enter the venue. They failed in this bid but they and others killed more than 120 people outside the stadium, in a concert hall and at street cafes in one of the most deadly terrorist attacks France has seen.
The attacks raised tensions just months before France was to host the tournament, to which a million foreign visitors are expected.
"It's possible of course to be afraid," said England boss Roy Hodgson, speaking in French, at the workshop. "But the French people have shown us the way, because they are absolutely determined to conduct life in the same manner as before.
"I am sure that in France the government, UEFA - everyone who is responsible for the security; they are going to do absolutely everything that is possible," he added.
On Wednesday, tournament organizers said they had boosted the security budget by 15 per cent. For each of the 51 games, spread over 10 venues from June 10-July 10, an average of 900 security agents would be present.
Organizing president Jacques Lambert said there were no concrete considerations of a decision from Europe's ruling body UEFA that games could be held behind closed doors in case of a terrorist threat.
"Euro or World Cup games in empty stadiums, nobody wants to see that. So I hope the Euro goes forward as we all imagine it will," said Loew.
Vicente del Bosque, coach of reigning champions Spain, agreed. "(I hope) that the security presence is imperceptible, that it's hardly noted, but that it's real and if there are any problems they are resolved.
"I hope the European Championship is a sport party, and nothing else."
Tuesday, March 22, 2016 - 15:30
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Wednesday, March 23, 2016 - 14:36