French won’t be playing into hands of terrorists
THE game of football has been put into perspective after the terrible atrocities in Paris, but sport, like the rest of the world, cannot give in to terrorists of any kind.
Next year, France is set to hold the European Championships, with Bordeaux, Lens, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Saint-Etienne and Toulouse and two stadiums in Paris - including the Stade de France, which is due to host the final - all to host games.
Suicide bombings outside the Stade de France while a friendly between the French and Germany was taking place, killed three people, but while obviously there is a risk, the event, quite simply has to go on.
After the attacks in which 129 people died across the French capital, the head of the organising committee, Jacques Lambert said Euro 2016 must not be cancelled and that has to be the way forward.
"The risk had gone one level up in January (after the Charlie Hebdo killings), it has just gone higher," he told French radio RTL.
"We will make the decisions we need to make so that the Euro finals can be held in the best security conditions. Security in stadiums works well, the risk is more in the streets, in spontaneous gatherings.
"Wondering whether Euro 2016 must be cancelled is playing the game of the terrorists."
French Football Federation president Noel le Graet has admitted the latest wave of attacks will only increase fears and I know that players and supporters' safety must be paramount but as Lambert said postponing the event would be a win for Islamic State, which yesterday claimed responsibility for the attack.
I know it will be a tough ask but all it needs is security to be taken to the highest level and I am sure the Euros will go ahead safely.
UEFA and FIFA have to also take a stand and I am sure that football's governing bodies will do their best to ensure everyone's safety next year.
There is no doubt that security has to be stepped up but I am sure fans will not worry if it takes a little longer to get into grounds if their safety can be guaranteed.
Players have already expressed concerns over the viability of the tournament in the wake of the attacks but once more they have to stand firm and stick together to show these terrorists they will not win.