France is set to deploy a security force of about 90,000 to patrol the Euro 2016 soccer tournament, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said Wednesday, according to Reuters. Tens of thousands of police soldiers and private security agents will be spread across the country, with the monthlong event scheduled to begin June 10.
The games will take place in the shadow of last November's attacks, carried out by the Islamic State group, which killed 130 people across Paris. The country remains under a state of emergency. One attacker in November attempted to enter the 80,000-capacity Stade de France during a soccer match but was turned away by security after he was found to be wearing an explosive vest. The attacker then detonated the vest outside the stadium.
About 2.5 million fans are expected to attend the 51 tournament games, which will be played at 10 stadiums nationwide. Major cities will also have "fan zones" for crowds to watch matches on large television screens.
"Such a unique event in exceptional circumstances requires extra security measures," Cazeneuve told reporters Wednesday.
The 90,000-strong force is expected to be composed of 77,000 police officers, armed officers and riot control forces, alongside 13,000 private security agents and 1,000 volunteers. Cazeneuve said a portion of 10,000 soldiers already handling counterterrorism across France will be given more responsibilities during Euro 2016.
A test of increased security measures at France's domestic league cup final days ago was widely criticized. The system, featuring about 1,700 security personnel, left many fans scattered about the stadium and stuck in overcrowded spots between security checkpoints. Fireworks were ignited both inside and outside the stadium.
Police are also considering how best to handle rowdy fans, some of whom may come to France without tickets to take in Euro 2016. Authorities announced they would have a 24-hour ban on alcohol around games in the small French town of Lens, another cities might follow suit.