France restricts public screenings of World Cup 2018 over terror fears

The threat of terrorist attacks in France has put paid to fans’ hopes of watching the World Cup on big screens in public spaces, France’s ministry for the interior has announced.

The ministry said the terrorism threat means transmissions will only be allowed if they have taken the necessary precautions.

That includes showing the matches in a secured public area and being able to organise the deployment of police.

“I call the attention of elected representatives to the fact that fan zones with large screens cannot be organised in open public space,” said Gerard Collomb, France’s interior minister.

“In the context of the current terrorist threat, the requirements that prevailed during the European football championships [in 2016] will again have to be applied.”

At Euro 2016, held in France, fans wanting to watch games on big screens in public had to do so by entering one of the 10 officially sanctioned “fan zones” in each host city, at which there was a heavy security presence.

The World Cup 2018 takes place in Russia from June 14 to July 15.

France has seen a wave of gun and knife attacks in recent years, which have left 246 people dead since 2015.

Ken Kamara