HANOVER (Reuters) – The 2016 European Championship soccer tournament will take place in France despite Friday’s deadly attacks in Paris, which could have happened anywhere, Germany coach Joachim Loew said on Monday.
The German, whose team were playing France in a friendly international in Paris when at least 132 people were killed in attacks across the French capital, said he expected the tournament to go ahead as planned.
“I am certain that the Euro will take place in France,” Loew, whose team have qualified for the June 10-July 10 finals, told reporters.
“I am sure the (French) government and security forces will provide security, it will make sure the event is safe.”
Loew said moving Euro 2016 to another country would not guarantee the safety of the event as attacks have been staged in other countries as well.
“It makes no sense to start talking about different countries now. What happened in Paris is something that can happen in any other country as well. We expect the Euro 2016 will be in France and that everything will be done to safeguard the tournament.”
Loew and his players spent Friday night inside the stadium as the attacks took place before leaving straight for the airport on Saturday morning.
Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks, in which more than 350 people were also wounded, saying it sent militants strapped with suicide bombing belts and carrying machine guns to various locations in the heart of Paris.
There was one bombing near the Stade de France, killing three people, during the game inside the venue, site of the Euro 2016 final.
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Ken Ferris)