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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

IOC says has 'full confidence' in security at Paris Olympics

The Olympic Rings being placed in front of the Eiffel Tower
The Olympic Rings being placed in front of the Eiffel Tower

Lausanne: The International Olympic Committee on Friday said it had "full confidence" that France would ensure security at the 2024 Olympics in Paris.


Fears have grown over safety at the event in the French capital as the opening ceremony on July 26, 2024 draws closer.


But IOC President Thomas Bach said: "After a number of consultations, visits, follow-ups... I can say we have full confidence in the French security authorities."


France's reputation for policing sporting events took a battering following chaos at the Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid in Paris on May 28, which critics blamed on heavy-handed policing.


An inquiry by the French Senate in July concluded that the problems were caused by a "string of dysfunctions".


But Bach told reporters the French authorities "have drawn the right conclusions from the incidents on the occasion of the Champions League final and they enjoy our full confidence".


Another subject of concern is the ambitious vision of an Olympics opening ceremony that will not take place as is common in the athletics stadium, but as a flotilla down the River Seine.


Pierre-Olivier Beckers, the head of the IOC's 2024 Games coordination commission, last week said he had been "reassured" about security at the opening ceremony after meeting Paris police chief Laurent Nunez.


In early August, he had told the discussions were ongoing about the number of people who would be allowed on the river banks to watch the parade.


Organisers had originally said 600,000 people might attend, but faced calls to reduce that number.


World Athletics head Sebastian Coe earlier on Friday said he was also pushing for certain events to be moved out of the Stade de France, north of Paris, into street locations to increase exposure.


Coe, who headed up the organising committee for the London Olympics in 2012, said he thought it was worth it despite the "security costs". -- AFP


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