03 February 2017

Developing effective security plans for UEFA Euro 2016 right after the Paris bombings

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Head of Safety and Security UEFA EURO 2016 FRANCE Speaking at the Public Venue Security and Safety Summit in Sydney

The Stade de France stadium in Saint-Denis, where a friendly match was played between France and Germany, was one of the terrorist targets during the Paris bombings that left 130 dead and hundreds wounded in and around Paris. Months later France was also the host for UEFA EURO 2016 tournament that took place in several French cities.
Ziad Khoury who was the Head of Safety and Security at UEFA EURO 2016 France was in charge of developing effective security plans to prepare for the unknown. On average 900 specially trained stewards with about 80 health and safety personnel as well 200 volunteers worked in conjunction with the police force for each match. Ziad stated: “When it comes to security, it's not about numbers of people. It's about the quality and coordination.”

Other concerns were the "fan zones" that were set up all over the country, so that people could watch the games on big screens outdoors. An estimated eight million people travelled to France for the tournament, but only 2.5 million had tickets for the games. The fan zones were guarded around the clock and under CCTV surveillance. Police was present around the perimeter of 130.000 square meter and 400 private security guards posted inside. Those entering had to pass through strict security checks, involving patdowns, metal detectors and sniffer dogs.

French security forces were also trained in preparation for the possibility of drones being used to spread chemical agents over crowded areas. French police conducted a practice drill in Saint-Etienne, one of the Euro 2016 locations. Khoury stated: “when preparing for an event of this size, you must imagine all scenarios, even the most unlikely.”

Ziad Khoury will share his insights into the security preparations during the months before the tournament during an opening keynote presentation at the Public Venue Security and Safety Summit, being held at Radisson Blu Sydney on 28th – 30th March 2017. He will offer his insights into how the UEFA EURO 2016 organisation prepared a major security plan to provide safety for all those participating at the EURO 2016 in stadiums, fan zones and all other official sites. Mr Khoury will also discuss the necessary cooperation and communication levels needed between all stakeholders and what the results and lessons learned were at the biggest security effort for the public sector ever in France.

Written by: Nicolas Verbeeck


Nicolas was born in Belgium and became an expert in consuming excellent beers, chocolate and waffles. During the winter period you can find him on a hockey pitch and in summer he loves to go for a swim or a surf. In 2013 Nicolas was wondering what the beers, chocolate and waffles would taste like in Australia and never came back. One reason… the weather. Nicolas obtained a masters in International Politics and tries to use this background to produce excellent conferences at Akolade.

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