- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 1, 2016

LONDON (AP) - European Championship games could be moved to different venues in France and rescheduled without fans on another day in response to terror attacks or threats.

The contingency plans have been formulated by UEFA after suicide bombers tried to enter the Stade de France during a France friendly against Germany in November. They detonated devices outside the stadium as part of a coordinated attack on Paris by European extremists with the Islamic State group that left 130 people dead.

The following week a Germany-Netherlands friendly was canceled just before kickoff after police feared an explosive device might be detonated at the Hannover stadium.

In France, the state of emergency in place since Nov. 11 was recently extended until May 26 - two weeks before the start of the June 10-July 10 Euros.

With Wednesday marking 100 days until the tournament begins, UEFA disclosed emergency preparations with the French government for games that may be targeted by terrorists.

“It’s possible that matches would be postponed or played later due to security reasons or terror attacks,” UEFA tournament director Martin Kallen told The Associated Press. “If there is a security issue, we would need to play the match without fans. If you have to move a lot of spectators, they may not have time to go to the match.

“But today there are no signs of any extreme threats or alarming issues.”

Across 32 days, 51 games are to be played in 10 stadiums where body checks will be in place for regular fans rather than airport-style security measures.

“If you have a full check, you cannot get all the people into the stadium,” Kallen said. “With airport checks, you need to be able to get all the materials and we have 10 stadiums. That is a logistical undertaking.

“We think body-searching is a good way to do it.”

Another priority for authorities is securing the outdoor “fan zones” set aside for ticketless fans to watch games for free on jumbo screens.


Rob Harris can be followed at www.twitter.com/RobHarris and www.facebook.com/RobHarrisReports

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