Welsh FA claim security for Champions League final will be the biggest ever seen for a UK sporting event
The Football Association of Wales said on Friday that the security operation for the four-day period surrounding next weekend's Champions League final in Cardiff will be the biggest ever seen for a sporting event in the UK.
On Tuesday the British Government raised the national terror threat level to critical following Monday's terrorist attack at the Manchester Arena, and in response to that atrocity, Welsh FA officials claimed that next Saturday's Champions League final between Real Madrid and Juventus will now have the biggest security operation ever seen for a UK sporting event.
A statement on the Welsh FA's website read: "Delivering a safe, secure and memorable event for all stakeholders, in particular the teams and the spectators, has always been the primary objective for both the Cardiff 2017 Local Organising Committee (LOC) and UEFA.
"Over the course of the past 24 months, comprehensive plans have been drawn up to ensure that this objective is successfully delivered – the security operation for the four-day period covering 1 to 4 June will be the biggest ever seen for a sporting event in the UK.
"These extensive security measures, details of which have previously been shared with both the public and the media, will ensure that the UEFA Champions League Final, UEFA Women’s Champions League Final, UEFA Champions Festival and all other associated events can be safely enjoyed by all."
As part of the heightened security measures, the Welsh FA also confirmed that the roof of the Principality Stadium will be closed for the final, as well as the two official training sessions to be held at the stadium the day before the game on Friday 2 June.
Organisers said that a closed roof should add to the atmosphere of the occasion, but that the decision to close the roof was made after consultation with the relevant authorities who advised that the roof should be closed.
"The decision to close the roof was taken by the FAW taking into consideration the recommendations made by the authorities over the last few weeks. The two finalists have just been made aware of the decision," the statement continued.
"The 2017 UEFA Champions League Final will be the first final to have been played under a closed roof and will further amplify the stadium’s atmosphere when Juventus FC take on Real Madrid CF on Saturday 3 June."
A statement from UEFA, the European governing body, said: "UEFA's priority for the UEFA Champions League final, as with all its matches, is to ensure that it is a safe and secure event for all stakeholders, from the participating teams to the supporters.
"We acknowledge the decision made by the Football Association of Wales, in consultation with the South Wales Police, to close the roof for safety and security reasons."