Flares at Euro 2016; UEFA pow­er­less


The Union of Euro­pean Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tions (UEFA) told The In­de­pen­dent that it was pow­er­less to pre­vent flares be­ing smug­gled into games at its Euro­pean Cham­pi­onships, af­ter the pres­ence of them in the stands at four in­di­vid­ual tour­na­ment games raised new ques­tions about the com­pe­tence of the French se­cu­rity op­er­a­tion, amid the on­go­ing ter­ror threat.

Flares are a pro­hib­ited ob­ject and the fact they were smug­gled with im­punity into Rus­sia’s fix­tures against Eng­land and Slo­vakia and Croa­tia’s matches with Turkey and Czech Re­pub­lic un­der­lines the need to re-ex­am­ine the se­cu­rity op­er­a­tion. But UEFA told The In­de­pen­dent that it was “ex­tremely dif­fi­cult” to pre­vent fire­works be­ing brought into games.

The hurl­ing of sev­eral mis­siles onto the pitch at the Saint Eti­enne’s Stade Ge­of­froy-Guichard venue, caus­ing the tem­po­rary sus­pen­sion of Croa­tia’s Group D match with the Czech Re­pub­lic, was the big­gest in­dict­ment of or­gan­i­sa­tional ef­fi­ciency yet, given that a state of civil war within the Croa­t­ian game meant the dis­or­der was by no means un­ex­pected.

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