The United States warned its citizens Tuesday that this summer’s Euro 2016 soccer tournament and related events across France and Europe will present “potential targets for terrorists.”
The month-long European Championship finals start in Paris on June 10, drawing the best international teams from the continent and hundreds of thousands of fans.
“Euro Cup stadiums, fan zones, and unaffiliated entertainment venues broadcasting the tournaments in France and across Europe represent potential targets for terrorists,” the State Department said.
The warning was contained in an update to its long-standing warning to US travelers to beware extremist attacks on transport and public gatherings in Europe.
“We are alerting US citizens to the risk of potential terrorist attacks throughout Europe, targeting major events, tourist sites, restaurants, commercial centers and transportation,” it said.
“The large number of tourists visiting Europe in the summer months will present greater targets for terrorists planning attacks in public locations, especially at large events.”
The French government has ruled out cancelling the prestigious tournament, which is expected to draw two million fans to cities across the country.
To strengthen security at Euro 2016, France has extended a state of emergency put in place after attacks last November on a concert hall, cafes, police and a football crowd.
Last month, French domestic intelligence chief Patrick Calvar told lawmakers that France is “clearly targeted” by the Islamic State group.
France feared a “new form of attack” in which terrorists would place bombs in areas where big crowds gather, he warned.
The updated State Department travel warning also noted that huge crowds and extra security should be expected in Krakow, Poland, during the Catholic Church’s World Youth Day event between July 26 and 31.
The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.
We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.
Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.