Tight controls on World Cup fan zones

No events in open public spaces due to security fears, insists Interior Minister - but matches can be broadcast in controlled zones

Towns and cities have been warned not to show World Cup matches on big screens in open public spaces due to security concerns.

For the World Cup in Russia, the Interior Ministry has said that such events can take place in confined or limited spaces such as stadia, sports halls, or concert halls and exhibition centres. But, access must be strictly controlled by security provided at the expense of organisers.

"I remind all publicly-elected officials of the fact that 'big screen' zones are completely forbidden in public spaces," said Interior Minister Gérard Collomb in a statement to local and regional authorities.

"In the context of the current terrorist threat, the procedures used at the European Football Championship will again have to be applied," the minister said, later turning to Twitter to say it was not a "strict ban". Arrangements such as "fan zones" could be proposed similar to those used at Euro 2016, which was held in France.

Two years ago, fans wanting to watch games on big screens in public had to use approved "fan zones", which were protected by a heavy and very visible security presence.

For the World Cup in Russia, the Interior Ministry has said that big-screen events can still take place in confined or limited spaces such as stadia, sports halls, or concert halls and exhibition centres. Furthermore, access must be strictly controlled by security provided at the expense of organisers.

The Ministry has asked prefectures to submit lists all such events expected to take place for approval.

The World Cup runs from June 14 to July 15.

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