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IOC confident in Paris Games security

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AFP) — 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 26 July 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 28 May, 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 AFP discussions were ongoing about the number of people who would be allowed on the river banks to watch the parade.

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

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