'We can't exclude playing Euro 2016 behind closed doors because we can't exclude terrorism'
Published 23/03/2016 | 07:46
Arsenal's Laurent Koscielny insists he does not fear for his safety when he plays for France despite more terrorist attacks close to home.
The centre-back played in November's friendly against Germany when the Stade de France was targeted by suicide bombers on the night almost 130 people were killed in attacks across Paris.
With bomb attacks on Tuesday in Brussels just across the border security has once again been thrust into the spotlight a little more than two months before France hosts Euro 2016.
However, while Tuesday's scenes were disturbing, Koscielny will not allow it to affect him, with a friendly against Holland in Amsterdam on Friday before the national team return to Paris to face Russia.
"We send our condolences to the families of the victims. All the French people are with the Belgians, as they were with France in November," he told a press conference.
"We have a game to play Friday and life continues. It's difficult when barbarous acts occur in France or Belgium but we must keep trying to give pleasure, smiles, to spectators and television viewers.
"I do not fear for our safety. The (France Football) Federation has set up a high level of security with great people working around the group, it is serene."
France opted to go ahead with their friendly against England just days after the November attacks and the whole of Wembley, mirroring the rest of the world, came out in support.
Even Antoine Griezmann, whose sister escaped unscathed from the Bataclan Theatre where gunmen killed 89 people, played some part that day as a substitute but yesterday's events rekindled unpleasant memories.
"It made me think about some things that I try to forget but we have confidence in the safety we have every day," he said.
UEFA has said it will take "all necessary measures" to ensure Euro 2016 is a safe and secure tournament.
"Following events in Brussels, UEFA wishes to reaffirm its commitment in placing safety and security at the centre of its organisational plans for UEFA Euro 2016," said a statement.
"Stakeholders involved in the organisation of the tournament will....regularly monitor the level of risk for the tournament....and all necessary measures are being taken to ensure that is the case for all involved."
National associations are also likely to continue to monitor their security arrangements in the lead-up to the tournament but in the short term it is business as usual, with England set to play Germany in Berlin on Saturday as normal and France hosting Russia.
"Our plans have not changed," said an FA spokesman.
"There have been no changes made to our itinerary and we have been in constant contact with the German authorities.
"Our security measures are already very stringent."
France coach Didier Deschamps echoed those sentiments by saying: "All security measures will be taken.
"The Stade de France is our stage so we will go there to play a football game and to be the best possible party."
Norwich striker Dieumerci Mbokani escaped unharmed after being caught up in the terror attack at Brussels airport but it is unknown whether he will be involved in DR Congo's Africa Cup of Nations qualifying double-header against Angola.
Belgium, who cancelled their training session out of respect for victims, have a friendly scheduled against Portugal at Brussels' King Baudouin Stadium next Tuesday.
Giancarlo Abete, former Italy FA chief and a member of UEFA's executive committee, raised the possibility of Euro 2016 matches being played behind closed doors.
He told Radio 24: "Euro 2016 is an event we can't delay or postpone. We can't exclude playing behind closed doors as we cannot exclude terrorism."