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EURO 2016

Uefa working on "contingency plans" for Euro 2016

The governing body said it was not currently considering closed-doors games. France's PM said the tournament will go ahead as planned.

Uefa working on "contingency plans" for Euro 2016

UEFA is not considering staging the European Championships in France behind closed doors but is working on "contingency plans" because of security fears after the Brussels attacks, a UEFA spokesman told AFP on Wednesday.

"We are confident that all security measures will be in place for a safe and festive Euro and therefore there are no plans to play matches behind closed-doors," spokesman Pedro Pinto said. "Nevertheless we are working on contingency plans and on multiple scenarios around crisis situations since we take the security of all participants very seriously," he told AFP.

His comments came after an Italian UEFA vice president said Europe's governing body could not rule out holding games without fans for the tournament which starts June 10.

The bomb attacks in Brussels, and the Islamic State operation in Paris in November, have put an intense security spotlight on the month-long tournament in France.

Designated fan-zones which could attract hundreds of thousands of supporters from across Europe have caused particular concern.

French authorities have already confirmed that stadium security will be stepped up because of the attacks.

Giancarlo Abete, a UEFA vice president, told Italian media on Tuesday that while games behind closed doors could not be ruled out it was not yet being considered.

"From a technical point of view, the risk of 'closed doors' can always exist because we are talking about a competition where the matches must take place," the Italian vice president told Radio 24. "There are no matches that can be put back to another date. But it seems that is not a priority today."

Abete told Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper that "today there is no structural situation that means we are thinking of disputing the Euro behind closed doors."

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Wednesday that the tournament would go ahead as planned in France despite the deadly terror bombings which rocked Brussels the previous day.

Asked in a call-in programme on Europe 1 radio station whether it was wise to maintain the event, given the level of threat of there being another terrorist attack,Valls said not to do so would be "a victory for terrorists."

"We need to have sporting events. But on the condition that they can be held under the best of conditions," he said.

Valls pointed to the staging of the Cop 21 international climate talks in Paris last November just days after the jihadist terror attacks that killed 130 people in Paris.

That showed, he said, that France can successfully host major events "and we are going to continue to do so."

There were further vows that Euro 2016 would go ahead from France's sports ministerThierry Braillard.

"We have been repeating it for several months now that the terrorist menace has been in the forefront of our planning since the start andto cancel or postpone the European football championships would be just giving in to these cowards," he told L'Equipe sports daily.

"In terms of security, we cannot do more than we are already doing," he added.

The Euro 2016 tournament takes place in France from June 10 to July 10 with 24 teams playing 51 matches at 10 venues across the country from Marseille in the south to Lille in the north and also Paris.