23 Mar 2016

Coleman says Euro 2016 needs to go ahead

1:47 pm on 23 March 2016

Wales football manager Chris Coleman says Euro 2016 should go ahead as planned despite increased security fears following the suicide and bomb attacks in Belgium.

Wales football manager Chris Coleman.

Wales football manager Chris Coleman. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

"It's what everybody wants," Coleman said. "It's what the people want and we should make sure that happens."

He described today's incidents as "incredibly evil" but said the attackers should not be allowed to win.

More than 30 people were killed by the explosions at Brussels airport and a metro station in the Belgian capital.

"I think these people would have us stay in our houses, locked up 24 hours a day if we let them have their way," Coleman told the BBC. "That shouldn't happen."

He said he expected Euro 2016, which starts in France on June 10th, to be "incredibly secure" and said he was confident UEFA, European football's governing body, would do its "utmost" to keep everyone safe.

But the former Fulham and Coventry City boss added: "If somebody's hell bent on walking into a crowded area and they want to blow themselves up or whatever, there's only so much security can do.

"There's always going to be a doubt in everybody's mind. You're hoping and praying that everything's going to be OK.

"We've all got to go there and try to enjoy the tournament, try to entertain everybody that's going there as best we can."

UEFA said it would continue to "monitor the level of risk for the tournament", which would feature 24 teams, playing 51 matches at 10 venues across France.

French interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve said the attacks were a reminder of the "very high level of security" needed at the tournament.

France was the target of attacks last year with 130 people killed in Paris on November 13th.

Spectators wait on the pitch of the Stade de France stadium in Seine-Saint-Denis

Spectators wait on the pitch of the Stade de France stadium in Seine-Saint-Denis Photo: AFP

Suicide bombers struck near the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, followed by suicide bombings and mass shootings at cafes, restaurants and a music venue.

The attack on the Stade de France took place during France's football friendly with Germany, with radio and television teams inside the venue capturing the noise of the bombs going off outside.

Following the game, the German players slept in the stadium to ensure they remained safe before travelling home.

Norwich City striker Dieumerci Mbokani was at Brussels airport when Tuesday's explosions occurred. According to his club, he was "unharmed but shaken".

Belgium defender Vincent Kompany, who plays his club football in England for Manchester City, said he was "horrified and revolted" by the attacks, tweeting that "innocent people were paying the price again".

International team-mate Christian Benteke, who plays for Liverpool, said his thoughts were with family and friends of the victims.

People in Brussels and surrounding areas have been told to avoid rail stations, airports, shopping centres, concerts and other public events following today's events.