One year from the Olympics, maximum pressure in terms of security

“Les Bleus will not only be on the pitch during this World Cup! It is with these words that the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, concluded, with a smile on his face, the press conference organized this Wednesday with the Minister of Sports, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, on securing the event. . For the opening match, this Friday at the Stade de France, some 7,500 police and gendarmes are mobilized around the sports arena but also in public transport, fan zones or tourist places. Objective: to avoid the fiasco of the Champions League final… but also to break in certain arrangements before the Olympic Games.

Of course, the two events are difficult to compare. Two million rugby fans, including 600,000 foreigners, are expected… compared to nearly 10 million spectators next summer. Similarly, if the vast majority of the events of the Olympic Games will be held in Paris, condensed over two weeks, the world must last nearly two months and takes place in the four corners of France. “The World Cup is a rehearsal before the Olympics for certain points, confides a source familiar with the matter. In terms of coordination, for example, or securing teams. They are all protected by the Raid or the GIGN and have a liaison officer. It will be the same next summer. »

“No threat has been detected but it is not an exact science”

In some cities, such as Lille, which will host the handball events this summer, the World Cup is a good trial balloon. In Ile-de-France, the arrangements are very different from one event to another, but the world benefits from the developments made to secure the Olympics. 550 additional cameras have been installed in the region. Police drones have already been flying over the Ile-de-France skies regularly since this spring. In Seine-Saint-Denis, for a year now, 3,700 “delinquency erasure” operations have been carried out, in particular against deal points or street-side sales stands.

Because the risks identified are the same, at different scales. Starting with terrorism. “No threat has been detected but it is not an exact science,” said Gérald Darmanin, adding that the intelligence services had been particularly mobilized in recent weeks. Similarly, the authorities are concerned about threats in terms of cybersecurity, technology – in particular a drone attack – or the effects of delinquency (attacks on supporters, theft, racketeering, etc.). On classic matches, 5,100 police officers and gendarmes will be mobilized… that is as many as a big Ligue 1 weekend. The stadiums will be inspected before each match. In the air, an air security system has been put in place and is provided by the army.

6,300 private security agents

Inside the sports enclosures, the system is the responsibility of the organiser. Heard in February by the Senate, the director general of the World Cup, Julien Colette, indicated that 6,300 private security agents would be present, which also corresponds to a weekend of Ligue 1, this time with a public deemed less difficult to manage. For comparison: some 22,000 security guards are needed for the Olympics, a massive demand that makes recruitment extremely complicated. “For the World Cup, the organizer did not inform us of any recruitment difficulties,” said the tenant of Place Beauvau.

The authorities also claim to have learned the lessons of the Champions League final. On May 28, 2022, an accumulation of errors in the system had led to a chaotic situation. To avoid being the laughing stock of the sports world again, all competition tickets are dematerialized and nominative, the paths around the stadium have been redesigned, the workforce has been quintupled around the Stade de France. In transport, in addition to the police system, alternative routes have been anticipated. “We have been able to learn from the difficult times we have experienced,” insisted Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, the Minister of Sports. Response from Friday.

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