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Sports

Euro 2016 will go ahead as planned in France

media Nice Stadium in France AFP

The UEFA has said that Euro 2016 will go ahead  and won't be played behind closed doors while at the same time admitting they are working on "contingency plans" because of security fears after the Brussels and Paris attacks.

Fears over security concerns surrounding the upcoming european football tournament have been expresed in all quarters, although the consensus is that there is no reason to cancel or postpone the event.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls promised that this summer's Euro 2016 football tournament would go ahead as planned in France between June 10 and July 10, a tournament for which Belgium are amongst the favourites.

Asked whether it was wise to continue with the event, given the current threat level , Valls said  that to concel it 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, adding that 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 was held despite the recent events.

That showed, Valls said, that France can successfully host major events "and we will continue  to do so."

 France's sports minister Thierry Braillard agreed.

"We have been repeating it for several months now that the terrorist menace has been in the forefront of our planning since the start and to 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.

More than 2.5 million fans are expected to attend matches in ten host cities in France with a further 7 million expected in fan zones during the competition.

Fan zone security will cost up to 17 million euros, with UEFA promising 3 million euros before the November attacks, and they're now examining a request for a further one million.

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.

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