US State Department warn of terror attacks at Euro 2016

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Football News

The 2016 European Championships could be a target for terror attacks, the US State Department has warned.

An eight-page document - seen by the Press Association - concluded that an incident is more likely to take place at an "entertainment venue" such as a restaurant, rather than at a stadium.

One hundred and 30 people were killed in November following a series of co-ordinated militant attacks in Paris.

Three suicide bombers struck near the Stade de France where the French national team were hosting Germany in a friendly.

France, who will host this summer's tournament which gets under way on June 10, is already under a state of emergency following last year's attacks.

"The influx of visitors to France during the summer months, especially during the Euro Cup, will create an especially target-rich environment for threat actors wishing to attack soft target locations with maximum impact," the report, compiled by America's Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC), said.

"While Euro Cup fan zones will possibly be more vulnerable, the level of security that will be enacted around these areas will to some degree mitigate the vulnerability against these sites.

"Consequently, terrorist plots aimed at disrupting the Euro Cup may be directed against soft-target locations outside of the Euro Cup venues and fan zones.

"Locations such as entertainment venues, which are likely to be filled with fans watching games; restaurants; and other public gathering points could be seen as more accessible targets."

The document assessing the security threat at this summer's tournament also singled out England's opening match as one which could be disrupted by fan trouble.

The Three Lions begin their campaign with a night game against Russia at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille on June 11. The report cited a "history of violence" between recent matches played by England their Group D opponents as a factor which could lead to unrest.

"While violent crime is generally low in France, the combination of alcohol and competing fans during high-stakes matches could lead to tensions that could spill over into confrontation and violence," they said.

"Fan unrest may be more likely during matches that feature teams with a history of tensions.

"Euro 2016's first round features one such match, with England playing Russia on June 11 in Marseille; there is a history of violence associated with recent matches between these two sides. England fans also rioted after a World Cup 1998 match against Tunisia, also played in Marseille.

"As a remedy, some countries temporarily revoke passports for fans with a history of hooliganism abroad, as England did for some 3,000 fans during the 2006 and 2010 World Cups, and nearly 1,500 during the 2014 World Cup. The number for Euro 2016 is reportedly only in the low hundreds at this time."

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