PARIS (AP) – As Paris Saint-Germain seek to become just the second French club to be crowned in the Champions League, some 3,000 police officers will be stationed on the Champs-Elysees and in the vicinity of the team’s stadium this Sunday.
The goal is to prevent potential mass celebrations from spiraling out of control amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Gérald Darmanin, the French Interior Minister, announced the security plans on Saturday. In order to promote preventive measures, 2,000 masks will be distributed to fans who arrive without them.
Those who refuse to use them will be fined.
In an attempt to reduce the number of participants, 17 subway stations will be closed, as well as three overland entry points to Paris. Three hundred members of the fire brigade will support the Parisian police.
“We will not only seek to make things the best possible in terms of public safety, but obviously to ensure the use of masks,” said Darmanin.
PSG meet Bayern Munich of Germany, five times European champions. The match will take place in Lisbon, but many people are expected to follow the match in bars and cafes in Paris.
At a time when COVID-19 cases are on the rise, authorities seek to avoid scenes like those seen on Tuesday, when jubilant fans celebrated their club reaching the final of this tournament, for the first time in half a century of history. from PSG.
Thousands of people attended the famous Champs-Elysees, some on scooters or climbing on car awnings. The night was lit with flares, as the team’s supporters danced and sang.
Many celebrated without wearing masks and without observing the rules of social distancing.
Police arrested 36 people after the celebration at the foot of the Arc de Triomphe degenerated into scattered acts of violence. There was damage to the windows of some shops.
Authorities were criticized for not anticipating the situation and for deploying just a dozen vehicles.