Security boost for France-Denmark match following Stade de France fiasco

·2-min read

French authorities have beefed up security for Friday's football match between France and Denmark at the Stade de France, increasing police numbers around the stadium and train stations.

Less than a week after chaotic scenes marred the Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid, Paris's Stade de France will be the centre of attention once again as the French national team play Denmark before an expected capacity crowd.

Images of Liverpool fans massed outside stadium gates and of police firing tear gas have raised questions over France's ability to host major sporting events such as next year's Rugby World Cup and the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin has faced accusations of lying after he blamed the chaos on massive ticket scams, and has since admitted the event could "clearly" have been better organised.

Those in charge say they aren't anticipating trouble at Friday's UEFA Nations League match, when 1,400 Danish supporters are expected to be among the sell-out crowd of about 80,000.

A spokesman for the French Football Federation said that there would be 1,270 security staff on duty at the stadium, a number decided before last week's chaos, and which is fewer than the 1,650 stewards who were mobilised then.

"This is a totally normal match, the likes of which we have organised numerous times over the last 20 years," Mathieu Hanotin, the Socialist Mayor of the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis where the stadium is located, told AFP.

"In terms of controlling the flow of people this will be a normal match with normal security measures."

Extra police

There will, however, be 2,080 police on duty, with 665 officers dedicated to policing the flow of people at stations near the stadium and protecting supporters from attacks.

Police say the number of officers, many in plain clothes to prevent supporters from being targeted by thieves, will be “significantly increased”.

Fans are advised to plan their public transport journeys in advance and not to take bags to the stadium.

Paris is keen to avoid any kind of repeat of last weekend's fiasco.

"What happened last Saturday at the Stade de France was an embarrassment for our country, for our region and for our capital as it prepares to host the biggest and most watched event in the world: the Olympics and Paralympics," said Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.

France have not played at their national stadium – which was built for the 1998 World Cup – since 8 June last year, when they beat Bulgaria 3-0 before a limited crowd due to Covid restrictions.

Like last weekend, a strike has been called on one of the two suburban railway lines that ferries fans from central Paris to the ground, situated a few kilometres outside the French capital.

(with AFP)

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