The French government plans to extend the state of emergency put in place after the November 2015 Paris attacks for a further two months to cover the Euro 2016 soccer championship. The state of emergency, which is currently set to end in May, was declared minutes after the deadly attacks in Paris began on Nov. 13.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls reportedly said Wednesday that Euro 2016, to be hosted by France from June 10 to July 10, was a security priority. He said that Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve would propose the measure to other ministers later on Wednesday, and the request for the extension needed to be approved by vote in the Parliament.
“Faced with an event this big ... which must take place in conditions of security and which at the same time should be a celebration ... we have to ensure security,” Valls told France Info radio. “The state of emergency cannot be permanent but for these big events ... we have decided to prolong it.”
About 2.5 million people are expected to be present for the Euro 2016, which will host 51 matches involving 24 teams at 10 stadiums across the country.
The Stade de France national stadium, located north of Paris, will host the opening match and the final. The venue was the site of a suicide bombing on the night of the attacks, which have been claimed by the Islamic State group. The attacks, which claimed 130 lives, also took place near the city center, at the Bataclan music venue and at roadside cafes.