With supporters back in the streets and in the stadiums, Euro football opens tonight in Rome at the Stadio Olimpico with a tantalizing Turkey-Italy opener. The kick-off of a tournament that promises to be to be festive, even if it remains threatened by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“There I’m happy! You know, these big events are finally coming back and people are starting to come out, to live and we can breathe an air of renewal and revolution. The good thing is that we have hope again. to get out of this nightmare “ explains Metroman, a supporter of the Squadra Azzurra.
The supporters of the Turkish national team are also enthusiastic and have arrived in Rome well:
“With the Covid, supporters are not allowed to come from Turkey, so we have traveled 1,500 km from Germany and Holland to support our national team here in Italy, in Rome” explains Dogu, a Turkish supporter living in the Netherlands.
And the ball is not rolling yet, that the Covid-19 has already affected participating selections, including Spain and Sweden. It is because of the coronavirus that the pan-European competition, initially scheduled for 2020, is only taking place now.
In any case, the event is still a security challenge for the European authorities.
The European police office Europol has unveiled a law enforcement operations center for the UEFA championship. With the pandemic and the restrictions, in The Hague, we are counting on fewer supporters and potentially fewer hooligans.
According to Max Daniel, Chief of Staff of the International Center for Police Cooperation, “The biggest challenge of this tournament this year is the extent of fan travel. Normally all the fans from different countries travel to one European country. But this year they will be leaving from different countries to travel to different cities in Europe. “
Police officers from each of the 24 nations participating in the tournament, which takes place in 11 European cities, will spend the next month monitoring potential threats from Europol’s control room in The Hague.