Euro 2016 Begins as France Grapples with Terrorist Threat, Strikes, FloodsEU | June 10, 2016, Friday // 09:00| views
Starting from Friday, France will host the fifteenth edition of the UEFA European Championship which will last until July 10.
The opening match between hosts France and Romania kicks-off at the Stade de France in Paris at 21 o’clock (CET).
The country is on high alert after last year’s November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris which claimed the lives of 130 people and left hundreds other injured.
There will be heightened security measures, with nearly 100 000 police and other security officials patrolling fan zones and stadiums.
The French government released a mobile phone application to alert the public in the event of a terrorist attack. The application was developed after last year’s November 13 attacks.
Apart from the terrorist threat, French authorities also have to deal with strikes and the country is still recovering from the recent heavy floods.
For the first time a total of 24 teams will participate in the tournament, expanding from the previous number of sixteen which have competed since 1996.
The participants have been split in six groups with four teams each. The top two teams from each group together with the four best third-placed teams will proceed to the knockout stage.
Ten stadiums in the cities of Bordeaux, Lens, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Paris, Saint-Denis, Saint-Etienne and Toulouse will host the 51 matches of the tournament.
This will be third time France hosts the tournament after the first Euro in 1960 and then again in 1984.
Stade de France, which was one of the sites targeted during the November 13 attacks when three suicide bombers blew themselves up outside the stadium, will also host the final on July 10.
In Bulgaria, the tournament will be broadcasted live on the channels of public broadcaster Bulgarian National Television (BNT) and private NOVA TV station.
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