France to deploy 110,000 police for World Cup final: Report

FIFA World Cup 2018 schedule

France will deploy some 110,000 police and gendarmes for the World Cup final on Sunday and the annual July 14th celebrations in the country.

“Everything will be put in place so the French can enjoy these festive moments with peace of mind despite the threat from terrorism which remains high,” English news website in France, The Local FR, has quoted the French Interior Minister Gérard Collomb as saying.

Paris alone will see a huge security presence this weekend with some 12,000 police and gendarmes drafted in for the annual Bastille Day celebrations on Saturday and the World Cup final on Sunday.

The State has also put 3,000 additional emergency medical respondents and amidst terrorist threats and massive crowd presence to celebrate the twin occasions.

Paris police chief Michel Delpuech has said the deployment of 12,000 officers for Saturday’s Bastille Day celebrations and the World Cup final on Sunday was “an important measure to make sure the party is not spoiled by any tragic incidents”.

Around 2,000 Operation Sentinelle soldiers will also continue to patrol the streets over the weekend. The operation has been in force around Paris since the January 2015 terror attacks.

The annual Bastille Day celebrations on Saturday will witness the traditional military parade down the Champs Elysées Avenue and the fireworks at the Eiffel Towers. The twin events required heavy police deployment to control crowds.

As France take on Croatia on Sunday in the FIFA World Cup 2018 final a giant screen will be erected at the Champs de Mars under the Eiffel Tower for the Fench fans to watch the game and support their team. The fanzone is expected to be packed with 90,000 fans.

“All access will be controlled, no one will get through without being searched and checked,” said the Paris police chief.

If France win the World Cup early on Sunday evening fans will no doubt pour onto the streets as they did on Tuesday night after the semi-final victory over Belgium when people clambered on top of buses and blocked roads.

“In case of a victory for the France team, the celebration of this success will give rise to scenes of jubilation, crowd gatherings which we had a taste of already after the semi-final,” said police chief Delpuech, who said that the area around the Champs Elysées would likely be blocked to traffic in the case of a triumph for Les Bleus.

In case of a French victory, some 4,000 police officers will be on hand Sunday night, having already had a taste of what’s in store after France  secured its place in the finals on Tuesday night.

Hundreds of thousands of people flooded the streets, snarling traffic for hours, with some clashes between youths and police erupting on the Champs  Elysees later in the evening, leading officers to fire tear gas before evacuating the avenue.

“If our team wins the World Cup, we’ll block off vehicle access over a vast perimeter” around the Champs Elysees, Delpuech said, adding that it would be an unprecedented measure “The goal is to avoid what we saw in 1998 when thousands of people attempted to reach the city centre by car, leading to three crashes and one

person’s death.”